Based on the classic Oscar Wilde novel, this modern interpretation of
the immortal Dorian Gray is played by Ben Barnes and is directed by
Oliver Parker who put a unique and contemporary look on this dark tale.
In terms of movies and plays, this adaptation of Dorian Gray is
quite faithful to the original book as our protagonist makes a despicable deal
with the devil.
Upon arriving in London during the Victorian era,
Dorian, still a mortal meets two individuals who soon set him on a
different path of life. These people include Basil Hallward
(Chaplin) and Henry Wotton (Firth) who trigger Gray’s self indulgent
life. Gray commissions his friend Hallward to paint a picture of him
and he is so besotted over this painting, he sells his soul to the
devil to forever remain as he looks in the portrait.
As the years
progress, Gray continues to live his indulgent life, however he
remains as youthful as he did those many years ago. However as he
grows more corrupted, he sees his painting for what its worth, a
corrupt and hideous portrayal of himself.
At times, there feels like
there is a touch of hedonism and homosexuality between Gray and his Hallward but as I thought about this more, it seems to be just one
of the subtle modern twists to this tale. There are some
strong performances in the film, more specifically from Colin Firth
Barnes is rather un-inspirational as the corruptible Gray, even
though he portrays the character brilliantly. Rebecca Hall plays
Wotton's daughter who adds an element of romance… more specifically
passion into the tale of the Gray that at times, feels a little
The DVD quality is good with strong levels of black and good skin
tones that is matched with some great CGI and cinematography. The
audio, although nothing spectacular suits the movie as does the
great musical score which adds to this story of woe and corruption.
To compliment the DVD, there are some cast interviews and
featurettes that go not into the making of this film but also the
history of the character.
In the end, Dorian Gray is not a bad flick but it's not great
either. Just be warned that the gore really stands out in this movie
from its subtle grey tones of the Victorian era.
Behind the Scenes