Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Review: Dorian Gray

There's this thing about Colin Firth that cuts him out to be so perfect for Oscar Wilde's work.  Not only is he the highlight of the new film Dorian Gray, but he was also masterful in 2002's rendition of The Importance of Being Ernest.  Firth may not have much leeway in his choice of roles, but the way he slips out Wilde's witticisms makes one believe that he was made for it. 
Dorian Gray is an adaptation of Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray.  Ben Barnes takes on the titular role of Dorian Gray, a young man who inherits a fortune and townhouse in England.  He's young, innocent, and naive.  He befriends painter, Basil Hallword, played by Ben Chaplin, but falls under the influence of Lord Henry Wotton (Colin Firth.)  Wotton's philosophy in life is to give into every temptation on pleasure; basically he preaches to give into every sort of vice and Barnes eats it up.  Chaplin, meanwhile, paints a stunningly realistic portrait of Gray, which takes on Gray's soul (Chaplin also harbors romantic feelings for Barnes, which puts him at odds with Firth.)  Barnes falls in and out of love with the young actress, Sybil Vane (Rachel Hurd-Wood), who kills herself after Barnes' character leaves her jilted.  But soon, under Firth's guidance, Gray overcomes his grief and indulges in all of life's pleasures.  About ninety minutes of softcore erotica starts as Gray has his way with every woman (and man) that he can while consuming copious amounts of alcohol and drugs.  All the while, the portrait takes on Gray's sins, becoming deformed and hideous while Gray himself stays youthful and beautiful.
Overall, Dorian Gray is a very dark comedy.  The film itself tries a little too hard to be artistic, which isn't too bad since it's fitting to the genre.  Fans of Wilde's dry wit will appreciate the quips and the asides, while simultaneously feeling slightly disappointed that there aren't more of them.  Barnes starts off weak, but works into his role later into the film, while Firth is definitely the reason to watch at all.  For a culture that rapidly lowers the lowest common denominator for entertainment and comedy, Wilde's re-entrance (no matter how weak) to the arena is welcomed; now if only it were done a little better.

Score: C

22 comments:

nubilus said...

yeah that movie was a bit of a disappointment for me

Mark said...

i wanna see this

Joshua said...

Haven't watched it, but will add it to the list aye.

David said...

Okay.

River said...

I may see it... maybe...

Nikola Begedin said...

Comedy? Erotica? I must admit, I was expecting a horror here :D

ThePanther said...

Sounds interesting, might check it out if i have the time

n00buser said...

another vampire flick? /wrists

Pig Disgusting said...

i'm gonna check it out even tho i didnt read the book

pigdisgusting.blogspot.com

J-Dilla said...

wasnt that bad....was decent

Ace Hahn said...

this guy is nuts! dorian is really nutty lol

Wonderfullyrandom said...

nice reviews

Le Coq Bleu said...

Added to the must see list

Jerry said...

i think i might go watch it some time

lulz88 said...

great review

spacefamily said...

I love this movie!

Missquad said...

I could say that i fully agree with you about Dorian Gray. What more can one say

FunkyHomosapien said...

i kinda liked this movie. more than a C tbh.

JustaGamer said...

i wish i was a vampire

Pandali said...

C? I heard many people thought it was good. At least that's what my friends said.

M. Paynesdown said...

I've wanted to watch this film so bad, gotta get round to it!

ZombieHunter187 said...

a must see