15 April 2011

Movie Review: Dorian Gray

This movie, which was supported by Her Majesty's government in the funding department, is a cinematic revival of the haunting story by the late Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray. Although the bisexuality of Dorian Gray is toned down, I felt it still appropriate to relate my feelings on the film/story here.

If you have never read the Picture of Dorian Gray or heard about it. This is a classical negative puer eternus problem. Dorian, played by Ben Barnes, pictured below (not Colin Firth),
is a country bumpkin who comes to London and is trained by Lord Henry Wotton, played by Colin Firth, to be what we would popularly call hedonistic. He seeks his own pleasure without regard to the consequences to others or himself. And, when he first arrives in London, a portrait is painted of him to hang in his new digs which is hauntingly lifelike in its appearance of the dashing young man. During the painting, he is asked if he would sell his soul to the devil by having the portrait age and not him. He says he would and the mischief begins.

If you have ever been struck by the archetype of the puer eternus and you have never heard of this story, you can cheat (puerile trait) and watch this movie. Her Majesty's government was not let down in the execution of the script. It is just unfortunately that it would grossed $20 million world-wide. But then again, we are really a puerile global culture these days and with global warming and overpopulation, we are struggling with our own demons of the shadow negative puer. Definitely worth the watch.

2 comments:

  1. I enjoyed the movie, and it got me interested enough for me to look for a copy of the book itself and do a little research as well(hello, Wikipedia). :)

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  2. Have you read Will Self's "Dorian" ? Read a good review from a magazine and got a copy for myself.

    Haven't seen the movie yet, though. It's nice to see Ben Barnes deviate from his goody two shoes role in Narnia.

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