Thursday, 1 October 2009

'Dorian Gray' Albert Lewis vs. Oliver Parker

So after watching Albert Lewin's adaptation previous to Oliver Parker's recent version, it's clear to say there were a lot of differences between the two....

I really can't pass complete judgement on either of the adaptations, simply because I haven't red the original book by , but I honestly think from what I've seen from the pair, is that they pay homage to the generation in which they were produced...

Lewin's black and white makes really captures a sinister vibe in most cases, such as overshadowing images, for instances the swinging light after the death of basil, the seamlessly ending pendulum dragging on, as well as the twisted use of colour, to contrast beauty, importance, and change in story, which portrays an immense sense of atmosphere and suspense, also there is a lot of emphasis on the Egyptian cat which Lord Henry gives to Dorian Gray, suggesting perhaps that around that time period superstition was very common ..

True to it's time period, and of the social context, Dorian's antics were very lightly touched upon in lewins versions, consequential of the current societies views on actions of sexual nature (both straight and homo-sexual) as well as the time the book was written more so, a good example of this would be the whole Dorian/Sybil situation, which in our time-period seems completely absurd, the actions then and before would have been seen as acceptable and understood...

On the other hand, Parker's vision of Dorian Gray warps straight into the modern day, clear cut, using great imagery, scenery, and even using subtle amounts of cg, he still executes the atmosphere of how London would have been received all those years ago, and remain true to the themes, even down to the characters, after all the years between both films, he's interpretation of characters like Lord Henry are quite compelling, played by Colin Firth, he delivers the portrayal down to a tee, such as the over excessive flapping of the tongue, even his facial expressions and general essence..

Ben Barnes take on the Dorian Gray on the other hand, has I think personally, surpassed how his character should have been presented in the earlier film, his charisma, charm, good looks, the innocent vibe he emmit's, ever deceiving, even how he comes to a breakdown really defined the film for me.

On the whole, I feel that the latest installment of Dorian Gray improved the story on a whole, through the use of it's characters personally, and their actions, where as in it' predecessor, it left holes in the story, though this could lead to further interpretation, such as perhaps the whole story being of moral value, and how we should be wary of allowing our 'vices' get the better of us, for me personally, I feel the gaps seemed to make the film somewhat over-dramatic, this maybe due to the generation which I was born in, some elements would seem even laughable, but at it's time, understandable, it's occurred to me that it really does depend what sort of society we've been brought up in, and how we personally feel bout the characters, and in this case, they appealed to me more so then that of the original, because the film explored the themes in more detail, giving the plot and characters a lot more depth, and on the whole, almost making the characters real, although in both films they make the firm suggestion that experience in invaluable..


Noted Storyline Differences:
Old/New

The two entry points of the film differ completely...though this allows the basil's niece to be introduced...
Inclusion of a poem by 'Oscar Wilde' in the original
Lord Henry doesn't lead Dorian to the 'Two Turtles' in the original..
There is no Theatre in the original, or engagement scene..
Dorian comes to realise the power of the portrait in a different way..
Death of Sybil differs
The character Alan Campbell appears in the original
The Egyptian Cat appears in the original
Dorian Falls in love with basil's niece, in comparison to Lord Henry's Daughter
Finding of the portrait
The death of Dorian Gray is completely different

So this is what I pretty much got from the two films lol..



1 comment:

  1. Evening Bob,

    Love the critique! many people poo-pooh remakes as 'irrelevant'. but I always view them as descriptions of their times, so there's always a value in watching them in this light; one of your classmates admitted on their blog about the original version that they didn't know what he was doing (in terms of his hedonistic life-style) and so were utterly confused throughout; the way I see it, is that Dorian is probably doing whatever you're own idea of vice is... anyway, keep those film reviewer goggles on - anything you watch, I want to hear about it! :-)

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