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David Hugh Jones
This is a dramatisation of the true story of Major Herbert Rowse Armstrong, a solicitor and magistrate's clerk who lived in the small Welsh town of Hay-on-Wye. In 1921 he was arrested and charged with poisoning his domineering wife, Catherine, and later attempting to poison a business rival, Oswald Martin, by administering arsenic to them. At his trial, Armstrong claimed that he had bought the arsenic simply to kill the dandelions on his lawn. However he was convicted of murder and executed in 1922. Written by
Martin Underwood <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I watched this film knowing nothing about the case, or Major Armstrong before, and found it engaging, and very well acted - but still a bit cold and distant.
The story follows Major Armstrong, a lawyer with a shrewish wife who plots to murder her and a business rival with arsenic. Michael Kitchen does excellent work as Armstrong, playing him as extremely conniving, but also horribly pathetic and weak. David Thewlis does a great turn as well as terminally shy fellow lawyer Oswald Martin, whom Armstrong attempts to murder because of a real estate deal gone south.
These performances are worth watching "Dandelion Dead" alone, as well as the interesting true-life story, but director Hodges fails to really delve into the psychological thriller aspects of the material, which seem so apparent, so the whole experience fails to really connect with the viewer emotionally.
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