Customer Reviews for

Brideshead Revisited

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Beautifully filmed and well-played caricature of a subtle masterpiece.

    The formula used for this film is as follows: A) Take Evelyn Waugh's masterful novel of longing and nostalgia, B) add gorgeous scenery, solid acting, a lovely sound track, and excellent camera work, and C) reduce the plot and screenplay to caricature and stereotype. I had heard that this movie was a disappointment for anyone who had actually read and loved the novel, but I had to see for myself, especially since I wanted to see what Emma Thompson did with the role of Lady Marchmain. I found myself becoming more and more irritated as the movie marched along. What the novel (or the miniseries with Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews) suggests, implies, or allows to germinate in the reader's mind is, in this new adaptation, merely an opportunity for two-dimensional characters to spout slogans and re-inforce stereotypes. So, for instance, the Catholic faith of the Marchmain family is treated in the most jaundiced terms, the complex and passionate relationship between Sebastian and Charles is just a homosexual fling which Charles outgrows, and Charles' infatuation with the Marchmain family has mostly to do with the house! I kept thinking as I watched this that Emma Thompson must be inwardly cringing at the crudity of the thoughts expressed by her character.

    In addition to bungling the above, this adaptation manages to take the hilarious scenes between Charles Ryder and his father and render them dull, and it utterly fails to capture the mood of the soldiers which Waugh so brilliantly delineated in the novel.

    Finally, this adaptation tries to make Charles too good to be true. In the novel one feels the usual empathy for the main character, but he is not thereby an entirely admirable person. Waugh portrays Charles Ryder as a flawed protagonist, who gives his friend money knowing that the friend will use it to go on a drinking binge, who summarily divorces his wife and leaves his children in order to be with Julia, etc. This film tries to polish away Charles' flaws to an extent that makes him unbelieveable.

    What a shame it is that the makers of this film took so many high-quality elements and yet managed to miss the mark so dreadfully. I can only suppose that the time restriction of the feature-length film was the factor which spoiled what could otherwise have been a very worthy addition to the genre.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Brideshead Revisted Indeed...

    I much prefer the BBC Masterpiece Theatre version. Once more we have more emphasis on homosexuality than substance. And never let your children play it.

    What a waste of great actors.

    I would return it, but I can't since I opened the packaging. My advice is to rent it before buying.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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