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Top Customer Reviews
One aspect of the film that outshines even the performances is the cinematography, which is first rate. The film's director, Julien temple did a stellar, bravura job of shooting this film, which is set during the French Revolution. The photography of the English landscape is a rich, lush palette of colors. The rolling green hills were expertly shot. One thing I did sadly miss on this DVD is it's lack of a widescreen option, which would have further embellished Julien Temple's photography. From viewing the pan-and-scan version, I would assume that this film is a flat 1.85:1 film, not a scope 2.35:1 due to the picture not feeling too cropped.
The camera moves which show multiple wine glasses falling in slow motion, and also the hallucinogenic effects of opium are very effective. The movie runs at a nice edited, well paced 124 minutes. This allows sufficient time for good character development, but still brief enough to hold its' viewers attention. The movie doesn't try to capture Coleridge and Wordsworth entire lifespans, it simply captures the creative period that occurred during their time spent in close proximity together. Highly Recommended!
However, I weighed the facts: I love both the poems of Coleridge and of Wordsworth that I have read. They are epic and broad in scope, as well as eloquent and lyrical. I am also an admirer of both Linus Roache and John Hannah's work, and find Julian Temple an interesting director to say the least. I thought: how bad could this combination be? My didactical reasoning won out and I bought and viewed this film, and I'm glad of it. And I can only recommend that others follow my lead.
Is it historically accurate? As far as I know, which is not a lot, in this matter - no! That said, it is trying to make a statement, not be a documentary. Is Wordsworth displayed as an ogre in favor of praising Coleridge's drug-assisted genius? Not really. Wordsworth's opinion - that Coleridge's genius was not worth every price - was fairly portrayed in the film. Coleridge's drug addition is also not prettied up, or made to look romantic. Fair is fair. They were both geniuses in their own right, but - like us all - mortals as well, with all the flaws that go with it. They obviously became rivals, which is also - unfortunately - very human; we the audience have the opportunity to recognize that we don't need to choose between them.
Panning this film for its historical inaccuracies is like the Maritimer shooting the albatross...it goes against the nature of the thing. Experience the film as a poem, and relax about the details. Isn't that what both of their poetry tried to teach us?
Beautifully acted and magnificently filmed. Please give this little gem a chance!
Dazzling images, rich colors, transporting words & fine acting all contribute to an intense & moving film experience. Highly recommended!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I approached this film with excitement to learn about these two poets, feeling that anything non-Hollywood was trustworthy to give me less fantasy and stick to the facts. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Amazon Customer
Because Coleridge was my favorite poet in high school I chose to watch a film about him on Netflix. Great decision. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Cale Kenney
I mainly bought this movie because one of my favorite actors is Linus Roache. He did an amazing acting job portraying Samuel Taylor Coleridge to the point where I want to go back... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Anita Young
My favorite poem is the Rime of the Ancient Mariner and the visualization of Coleridge writing it under the influence is fabulousPublished 22 months ago by HRJ
I'm an English professor and had high hopes for this movie since I teach the biographies of Wordsworth and Coleridge in my British Literature class. Read morePublished on May 5, 2013 by hometeacher
The film, "Pandemonium" (2000) is about the deterioration of the friendship between the British poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge (played by Linus Roache) and William Wordsworth... Read morePublished on June 9, 2012 by The Owl Underground
It is hard to make a film about poets that might appeal to any audience. In this case the use of opium by Coleridge and his relationship with Wordsworth adds a phantasmagoric... Read morePublished on April 19, 2009 by David Webb
Such an inaccurate portrait. I got it to show to my Romantic Lit class, but decided not to show it after I watched it. Very disappointingPublished on May 14, 2008 by L. Smith
Part drama, part biographical. A story of two writers battling each other as they vie for words and glory. Read morePublished on March 19, 2007 by Billie Davis