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DVD Reviews: Lolita (Special Edition)

The Final Say!

Review Score
Reviewed by Jayne Levchenko
Review Date: June 2004
Distributed by:
20th Century Fox
Running Time: 132 Minutes





To begin – this is a highly controversial film as everyone would know but to me, even though it was very disturbing and made me feel extremely uncomfortable I pretty much thought it was an excellent film. 

The film begins when Humbert (Jeremy Irons) decides to rent a room at the house of Charlotte Haze (Melanie Griffith). Initially he declines the room but after he lays eyes on Charlotte’s 14 year old daughter Lolita (Dominique Swain) in the garden, he swiftly changes his mind and can’t wait to commence his stay with them. Humbert becomes absolutely infatuated with Lolita and this then results in a marriage to Charlotte (who thinks he is madly in love with her) so he can keep a keen eye on Lolita. Humbert manages to get out of all his marital duties by drugging his wife every night to avoid having to make love to her. He cannot stand Charlotte and finds her an unattractive, immature woman who throws temper tantrums like a child. 

During their marriage Humbert often jokes (more so hopes) that his wife may somehow be taken out of the equation so he can have a life with Lolita. His joke comes true when Charlotte is hit by a car and killed on impact. Humbert then begins his road trip on an emotional spiral down to immorality when he pulls Lolita out of boarding school and they travel around the country stopping in motels and launching Lolita’s sexual awakening.   

The best part of this movie is the portrayal of Lolita played by Dominique Swain. She is brilliant! To me Lolita wasn’t meant to be a manipulative, thoughtful woman trying to seduce a man (her stepfather), she was just a silly little schoolgirl who got herself into trouble and entered her sexual journey the wrong (very wrong) way.  

The wooden spoon for acting in this movie has got to go to Melanie Griffith. I’m not sure if it’s totally “bad” acting or the fact that she is so damn annoying. Everything about her portrayal was annoying, the whining, the screeching and the manner in which she delivered her nonsense.


Done in widescreen and is quite good, however throughout the movie certain parts seem very grainy and annoyed me from the beginning.


The film uses Dolby Digital 5.1 and is great. The opening scene is an example where Hump arrives on a train and it sounds excellent. The narration by Humbert is clear and easy to listen to, he has a very soothing but sad way in which he speaks throughout the film and I cannot think of a better actor to play the part.


Extras were great; especially the casting sessions where you can understand why Dominique and Jeremy play the parts they do because they are fantastic! 

Special features include:

  • Commentary by Adrian Lyne (Director)
  • Casting Session with Jeremy Irons and Dominique Swain
  • Deleted never before seen scenes.
  • Theatrical trailer

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