Synopsis by Craig Butler
Part of the "Beckett on Film" series, this adaptation of Samuel Beckett's 1961 absurd tragi-comedy is essentially a very long monologue punctuated by brief interruptions from a secondary character. Considered by many to be Beckett's most cheerful piece, Happy Days opens with the character of Winnie, a fifty-ish woman, buried up to her waist in a mound of earth. This immobility does not seem to bother the optimistic Winnie, who may miss the use of her legs but opts to concentrate on what she can still do with her arms and hands -- brush her teeth, use her mirror, etc. In the second half, Winnie has become buried up to her neck, but even the fact that she can no longer use her arms does not dissuade Winnie, whose motto is summed up with "Ah, well, what matter, that's what I always say; it will have been a happy day after all, another happy day." Winnie also professes to be comforted by the presence of husband Willie, who is rarely seen or heard. Beneath her cheerful exterior, of course, Winnie may not believe that all is really as well as she makes it out to be, but her refusal to admit the grim nature of her own reality is at the core of Beckett's play.