HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Castle Freak
Pinocchio
Brother Bear
Raiders of Buddhist Kung Fu
County Lines
Polytechnique
We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Covert Action
Strangler's Web
Host
Nimic
House of Bamboo
Murder Me, Monster
Hell and High Water
Possessor
Flint
Miserables, Les
Ritz, The
Patrick
Cemetery
Girls of the Sun
Princess and the Goblin, The
Skyfire
Upright
Incredible Kung Fu Mission
Dirty Cops
You Cannot Kill David Arquette
Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist
Son's Room, The
Evil Hits Evil
Agency
Blue My Mind
Thumbelina
Proxima
Aprile
Assassination Nation
Golden Key, The
Image Book, The
On Body and Soul
Unhinged
   
 
Newest Articles
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
   
 
  Libertine, The I Was Very, Very Drunk
Year: 2004
Director: Laurence Dunmore
Stars: Johnny Depp, Samantha Morton, John Malkovich, Rosamund Pike, Richard Coyle, Tom Hollander, Johnny Vegas, Kelly Reilly, Jack Davenport, Clare Higgins, Rupert Friend, Trudi Jackson, Stanley Townsend, Francesca Annis, Freddie Jones, Niall Buggy
Genre: Historical, BiopicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: John Wilmot (Johnny Depp), the Earl of Rochester, benefited more than some from the return to the throne back in 1660 of King Charles II (John Malkovich), but now the land is in financial struggles after around thirteen years of indulgence on the part of the ruling elite. Rochester has been in exile from London at his country estate on the King's orders, yet lately it is thought that his powers as a writer and poet can bring the French on the King's side. But how reliable can a hard-drinking, womanising scoundrel such as Rochester be?

Answer: not very. The Libertine opens in an arresting manner with Rochester addressing the camera by informing us we will not like him, which puts the viewer on guard, thinking "We'll be the judge of that, matey", but this kind of arrogance is part and parcel of the character. At first, in spite of what he says, we can respond to his roguish charms as he returns to London - after frigging his wife Elizabeth (Rosamund Pike) in the back of the coach on the way there, what a class act. But as the story draws on, based by Stephen Jeffreys on his play, it all becomes rather tiresome.

At least the film has an interesting look, as if the sulphurous pits of Hell were all too near, bubbling just under the ground the characters walk on, an appearance that helps not only to make the production distinctive but also helps to gloss over the comparitively low budget. But while Depp piles on the louche charm one cannot be help but be reminded of his Captain Jack Sparrow as he would be if he had gone to the bad: he even shares the same voice, or accent at any rate. It's not that Depp is wrong for the role, it's simply that familiarity has taken the potential sting out of it.

But in truth, all the cast, including the star, come across as entirely aware of what is asked from them, with only Malkovich upstaged by what appears to be the same false nose that Nicole Kidman wore in The Hours attached to his phizzog. It's not the actors who are the film's downfall, it is the indifference to the protagonist's plight that rankles: who really cares if his bad behaviour has poisoned the reactions of those around him when he doesn't especially feel remorse himself? Not until it's too late, anyhow, and even then you're not entirely convinced of his reform no matter that the actress he has brought fame and fortune to now rejects him.

That actress, Elizabeth Barry (Samantha Morton), we first see going down like a cup of cold sick at her most recent performance, where she is booed off stage. Rochester likes a challenge so knowing his way around a theatre persuades her to try again under his tutelage, and she is a huge success, but was he doing this for love or his own ego? Perhaps it was both. Elsewhere he puts his talents to squandered use when that play the King wanted him to write for the French turns out to be a pornographic parody of court life and is interrupted by an unimpressed monarch before it can end. This should be a highlight, but everything about The Libertine is so joyless that it's hard to see any pleasure that Rochester draws from his behaviour, and his desperate turnaround for the finale is neither cheering nor satisfying. And that finale drags on forever, if you like him by the conclusion or not. Music by Michael Nyman.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2960 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: