Though beautifully shot with exotic locales, lavish wardrobe and period sets, this first film is too over-the-top for my tastes. The story is super sweet to the point of childish and though there's a conspiracy afoot, I never really felt the characters were real enough to care much about what happens to them.
Acting-wise everyone did an okay job except for the leading lady. Now, she may be a fine actress but the dialogue she had to deliver, in a proper British accent, before the turn of the last century, was way too 'stagey.' I don't know what it is about speaking the King's English of that period, but it's very hard to pull off convincingly. For the most part it sounded like it was being read from a book on a stage to children. The only performance of late that has been noteworthy would be Kiera Knightly in Pride and Prejudice.
In any case, sorry to inject a reality check into these back slapping reviews, but reality checks should have been happening all through this production. If it's just a playful fantasy film then make a cartoon, but if you want real recognition, real respect and real success, your film needs to feel real and for me it just didn't. What's funny is that in the 30s and 40s this film might have been a big hit.
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