Monday, September 27, 2010

Dorian Gray

This is a story that is actually quite a challenge to film.  First, it's about a painting. Paintings are not action oriented.  They just sort of hang around.  Secondly, it takes place over the years.  Keeping track of everyone's make up or lack thereof is a production headache.  Most of all, the problem is one Dorian Gray.  How do you approach this character?  He's naive at first yes, lead into a life of sin by others.   But that only gets you through the first act.  The rest of the story is about a bastard that gets to do whatever he wants, looks good doing it, and then in the final minute feels bad about it.  There's a definite question of sympathy here.

So did the film makers here tackle these problems?  Eh, not so much.  Oh they loved the degradation scenes, they definitely had a taste for it and went into it with gusto.  But, cgi-ing the painting didn't make it any better.  While people's hair got whiter really I never really felt time passing.  Look at this film and say "forrest gump," to see what I mean here and perhaps its a little unfair comparison but you have to do more than just say "years later..."  Finally, no.  They did not make Dorian really sympathetic.  They tried hard but first the script fails to add any ump to the last romance he has which changes his mind about living forever as a scoundrel.  Also, the actor confused looking handsome forever for "not moving my face." 

It is not a horrible film like "Sharktopus," and more is the pity.  If it was a good film I could show it others.  If it was a horrible train wreck that was funny I could watch it again myself.  But as it is, it is just like watching paint dry.

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