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 »
A naïve young man. A lovelorn artist. A corruptible Lord. A deal with the Devil. It all paints a dark picture of a Victorian London and how the rich and infamous party at their peril. Here, the telling of time and its consequence of experience for life's treasures' takes its toll on the body, mind and soul. The haunting and bleak tale of power, greed, vanity and inevitable self-destruction is ever present amongst the deceit, opium dens and sin. Written by
Based on Oscar Wilde's novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dorian Gray is a compelling story about a young English nobleman who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for eternal youth. The story begins in late nineteenth century England, where Dorian Gray (Ben Barnes) has just inherited his familial estate following the death of his father. Gray is young, naive, and wholly innocent, at least until he befriends Lord Henry Watton (Colin Firth). Watton is an avid believer, though not a practitioner, of a hedonistic lifestyle. Every pleasure should be sampled, every desire indulged. The young Dorian Gray is completely taken in by this philosophy, thus begins his long, slow decent into corruption and madness.
Early in Dorian's slide, Basil Hallward (Ben Chaplin) paints a stunning portrait of Dorian Gray. So remarkable is the painting that Gray agrees to exchange his soul for the eternal youth captured in the picture. Thus the picture becomes a mirror, reflecting the quality of Dorian Gray's soul.
Both Ben Barnes and Colin Firth turn in terrific performances. I particularly liked Ben Barnes' transformation from naive young man into a cruel, murderous monster who has remained timeless as the world grows old around him. The sets are spectacular, showing all the splendor of nineteenth century England, mixed with the Gothic horror that becomes Dorian Gray's life. Dorian Gray is a fantastic cinematic adaptation of a classic novel.
19 of 30 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?