Four hours spent watching "The Real Charlotte" is time well spent, if you know what you are looking at. "The Real Charlotte" is based on a novel actually written during those times (circa 1900) by two Irish aristocratic women, and they know what they are writing about. It is a fascinating and beautiful piece of Irish social history, something of an Irish "Gosford Park". The latter film was also often misunderstood and panned by reviewers. These films are not Hollywood, folks! They tell the story of how people lived in a different time and place, and they do it well. Either you're interested in that sort of thing or you're not! As for "The Real Charlotte", the lead character, Charlotte, is all too well-developed, as is the character of the man she loves. Although I felt that the story began a bit slowly, as I got into it and began to understand what was going on, I really got drawn in. It is a story of greed and ambition, and a story of life and love. It is the story of three men loving one woman, and of a different woman loving one of those men. I could NOT predict what was going to happen, and the abrupt ending came as something of a shock. I could hardly believe that a story from those times would have such an ending, although in retrospect I can see it now.
Have we become so jaded that we no longer care about the life and loves of people who were as real then as we are now? Are we not interested in a world still recognizable, a world known to our grandparents or great-grandparents, charming yet desolate, so near and yet so far? I believe most romantics, and many thoughtful people, would enjoy this film. I certainly plan to spend another four hours of my life enjoying it again.
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