First things first, if you are a girl, this movie is a win-win: even if you end up hating the cinematography, the plot and the acting, all of which are excellent in their own right; you’ll relish the mostly-unseen-by-our-generation raw, vital, alive Marlon Brando.
The plot revolves around Stanley and Stella, who are a married couple and Blanche, Stella’s sister. Blanche turns up at their residence after (supposedly) losing their ancestral properties to essentially vague causes. As the story unfolds, we get to find out more Blanche and her vain and corrupt ways; her desperate attempts to cling on to her fading beauty and broken pride. Her psyche is molded by Stanley’s beastly, animal behavior like delicate sand-dunes are by fierce gales, providing an ever changing terrain for the movie to proceed on.
Stanley is, simply put, an animal. More often than not, his base instincts overpower his reason and the haunting “Hey Stella” is two English words away from a primitive mating call. It is also interesting to note how different the concept of a `man’ is for the two sisters, who, gaging from their behavior, were very close in their childhood. Stanley’s raw Id and the blatant deficiency in higher functions (pardon the Freudian reference here) is what Stella finds attractive. Blanche is, of course, disgusted by the same. While I am sure a part of this difference is certainly due to Blanche’s (at least apparent) beauty and Stella’s somewhat lack of the same (resulting in different kinds of interaction with men throughout their formative stages) one would have to be a woman to be any more accurate.
Stella’s refusal to return back to Stanley in the last scene is intriguing. I’m not sure if the sudden repulsion is brought about due to a realization of how Stanley’s actions have ultimately wrecked her sister’s mental stability (and some inkling of Stanley raping her) or due to now having a second person to love in her life (her baby). The right answer is probably a combination of both. It is clear from the movie that the connection between Stanley and Stella is essentially sexual; perhaps becoming a mother somehow helped Stella rise above her raw physical needs and see things as they are.
Unless you’re the kind of person who has seen Avatar twice (voluntarily), you’ll love the movie – pretty much everything about it is perfect. The fact that it is in monochrome only adds to its charisma.