In Victorian London, a beautiful young man is given a portrait of himself by an admiring artist. Soon after this, he treats a young woman cruelly and then notices that his portrait seems to... See full summary »
Years after her aunt was murdered in her home, a young woman moves back into the house with her new husband. However, he has a secret that he will do anything to protect, even if it means driving his wife insane.
In 1886, in the Victorian London, the corrupt Lord Henry Wotton meets the pure Dorian Gray posing for talented painter Basil Hallward. Basil paints Dorian's portrait and gives the beautiful painting and an Egyptian sculpture of a cat to him while Henry corrupts his mind and soul telling that Dorian should seek pleasure in life. Dorian wishes that his portrait could age instead of him. Dorian goes to a side show in the Two Turtles in the poor neighborhood of London and he falls in love with the singer Sibyl Vane. Dorian decides to get married with her and tells to Lord Henry that convinces him to test the honor of Sibyl. Dorian Gray leaves Sibyl and travels abroad and when he returns to London, Lord Henry tells him that Sibyl committed suicide for love. Along the years, Dorian's friends age while he is still the same, but his picture discloses his evilness and corruptive life. Can he still have salvation or is his soul trapped in the doomed painting? Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Based on a story by Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray tells the story of a man that sells his soul for eternal youth. After having his portrait done, Dorian Gray, under the influence of the eloquent Lord Henry Wotton, wishes for the picture to age instead of him so that he may be blessed with eternal youth. After the death of his wife-to-be, Dorian embarks on a life of pleasure and sins, which don't affect the man in the slightest, but leaves it mark on the portrait which descends into a horrid impression of the handsome young man it's portraying...
This film is fantastically well put together. The acting, directing and writing are all stellar, which make this film one pleasant viewing indeed. The real plaudits for this movie, however, go to the writer of the original novel; Oscar Wilde. The story itself is ingenious. Of course, the idea of selling one's soul had been done before (the German legend, Faust, springs to mind instantly), but never in this way. The portrait itself is a genius idea and it allows us to see the man and the sin as different things. However, through it's ending; it also allows the audience to see that the two are linked, and overall giving a good commentary on body, soul and sin. The story has obvious themes of vanity and the lust for eternal youth entwined within it, both of which are sins in themselves. The main character of Dorian Gray is a man that is a victim of influence, and we can feel for him in that way; but he's also an ugly sinner on the inside, making the audience hate him. This is a strange situation for an audience to be in, and in the end; all that's left for him is indifference.
The film moves slowly, but this is definitely to it's advantage as it allows us to get to know the characters, and if it wasn't for that the horror wouldn't be able to work as it needs our emotional impact to function. The horror in the story is rather subdued, but this is one of the most horrific tales ever told. I think most people will agree that this kind of horror - the brooding, personal kind - is much more horrifying than anything that men with knives and any amount of jumpy moments can muster.
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