DIRECTED BY: Oliver Parker
Written By: Toby Finlay
Based on the novel by: Oscar Wilde
Cinematography By: Roger Pratt
Editor: Guy Bensley
CAST: Ben Barnes, Ben Chaplin, Colin Firth, Rebecca Hall, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Caroline Goodall
A corrupt young man somehow keeps his youthful beauty eternally, but a special painting gradually reveals his inner ugliness to all.
For all of this films lushness and rich visuals. The film seems to lack a vividness I had come to expect with a story like this. It goes to dark luscious places, but more or less suggests it while giving us in the audience a glimpse.
It is based on the classic novel by Oscar Wilde. That is represented well (Though I will admit I haven’t read it yet. The actors do well in their respective roles. It’s fun watching Colin Firth play the Devil’s Advocate influential friend. He is obviously having fun with the role. Though Ben Barnes in the lead role did seem a bit stiff.
The film is a good time waster but the Thing that bothered me the most was how quickly the main character turned into a villain with virtually no mid-point for his character until near the end of the film. Before that he just becomes instantly a libertine hedonist.
While with the number of indoor scenes the film feels small scale it’s a classic tale set in the past. Yet it doesn’t have any epic feel nor does it have any landscape shots. Which considering it is a period piece it feels like it deserved more care. Maybe it’s because I have seen so many period pieces I have been conditioned to expect it.. Though there are many places where the film lets you read between the lines.
The filmmaker Oliver Parker works well with what he had. He is a talented director with a visual eye. I only wish he had a chance with bigger projects. He shows himself worthy of it with this impressive film. Which is better then it should be.
I like how it starts out supposedly a drama Dips itself into the horror genre then goes right back into drama with a few chills to round it out. Though when you think about the story and the possibilities it appeals to you more then what is shown on screen.