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As is with many Collins' novels, the story is melodramatic and full of surprises, but the film seems to be too full of them. Every five minute you see something happen, which is certainly enjoyable. However, as far as emotional power goes, "Basil" is far from convincing. When the film should be sensual, it fails to be so, leaping to the next scene without raising the tension that should have come from, say, the clandestine meetings between Basil and Julia. There is no thrilling descriptions of ever-changing love and distrust found in works like "Wings of the Dove." The same can be said about the frail father-son relation in Basil's family, which should have been more explored.
My material says the writer/director Radha Bharadwaj (known for Madeleine Stowe film "Closet Land") was very impressed with the original book when she was 12 years old. Born and raised in India, the director clearly is conscious of social class and gender, so the book's thriller part is reduced to certain degree, and instead the contrast between men and women, or traditional aristocracy and new middle-class is stressed.
Her decision is understandable, but I don't know if it was a good idea to adapt the novel that way.Read more ›
The "mystery" of the film (spoilers below) has very little to do with the movie itself. I read in another review that this film is about "revenge gone wrong" when in fact this film is about revenge never happening! The movie provides an endless list of questions that are never answered.
Why is Basil so ridiculously gullible and naive to the point where you're just plain embarrassed for him?
How more could the director possibly spoil his own "mystery" with the cut rope near the beginning and Julia's constant hesitations with Basil?
How pathetic is John Manyan's character (big spoiler alert here) to spend his entire life building up to something only to completely give up on it at the last moment for no obvious reason? Nice justice he brought his father.
Why do Basil and his brother keep in no contact whatsoever? They appear to be very close early on, and then when sent away, Basil makes no attempts to reconnect with his brother at all. Clearly he has a desire for a male friend- as this movie takes great pains to point out in his strong and quickly made friendship with John Manyan. Travel is no issue for Basil- he makes excuses to go to London to see Manyan. Why would he not go see his brother?
Can Basil's father be any more one-dimensional and any less convincing as a character?Read more ›
I didn't find it dull at all, so I guess I will be one of the few people who thoroughly enjoyed this film. Christian Slater did a fine job - as usual, and I found the ending to be sweet.
Had the lead character found someone to love, I would have given the movie 5 stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had never heard of this film but was very pleasantly surprised. It was a good Regency era drama and really held my interest. I would recommend it. Read morePublished 18 hours ago by SueFla
A story of a strained relationship between a father and son which has a twist in the plot which makes this a really interesting story. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Lilac
There were times that I really liked the movie, but then I found that I did not like the characters. The movie had a good twist at the end.Published 3 days ago by Myers