The Amazing Trousers is a comic and Gothic tale, set in Edwardian England. The story follows Henry, a meek loser who agrees to buy a pair of red trousers from a mysterious wheel-chair bound... See full summary »
The Amazing Trousers is a comic and Gothic tale, set in Edwardian England. The story follows Henry, a meek loser who agrees to buy a pair of red trousers from a mysterious wheel-chair bound tailor. The trousers bring him success in life but in exchange, he will have to give up his legs after one year. We discover the Tailor had his own legs removed by his patron, a cruel Maharaja who was scared the trouser-maker would take his talents elsewhere. Our protagonist feels little sympathy though, as he awaits his own leg-related fate. Written by
In Edwardian England, the meek young man Henry enters a tailor's shop to find a legless man in a wheelchair in charge. Hard of hearing, needing glasses and generally shy with the ladies, Henry is a typical loser in the race of life but the mysterious tailor offers him a way to increase his opportunities in life. They are a pair of bright red trousers, which allegedly give the wearer all the confidence and good fortune that he could ever ask. But of course, everything comes at a price...
It sounds like a great idea this and indeed there are times when this TCM Classic Shorts finalist does realise this but too many times it is a case of "close but no cigar". This is evident in many aspects throughout the film. The Gothic style is close but not completely right, mostly because of the budget limitations but also the overuse of the lightening effect as a cheap way of creating atmosphere. The style is still close though and I think strong material would have covered for it but, as it is, this is only a good try as well. Playing it up too much damages the script where instead subtly and wit would have worked out better for it and have been more in keeping with the genre.
The performances go with this approach as well though and perhaps limit the film in doing this (or vice versa I suppose). Bamber is not as mysterious as I would have liked but does the job. Marshall is not someone I have a lot of respect for but with the material and direction he is given here, his weak performance is not all his fault. He hams it up wildly but, without the material he is left to rely on his outrageous performance to draw humour and, for my money, that was too much of an ask for him.
It is not terrible though because the idea and the delivery is amusing but with the limitations on the film preventing it totally achieving its genre goal and the material not being as smart as it could have been stop it being as enjoyable as I wanted it to be. Quite fun but flawed with it.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?