Movie Review: Dorian Gray (2009)

Starring: Ben Barnes, Colin Firth, Rebecca Hall & Ben Chaplin

Directed by: Oliver Parker

This film adaptation of the novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde is about Dorian, a corrupt young man who manages to keep his youthful beauty for all eternity but a painting of himself gradually shows his inner ugliness for all to see.

Dorian, starts off a shy, innocent lad who inherits his grandfathers estate and fortune in London. His paths cross with Henry Wotton (Colin Firth) who makes all the wrong impressions on him and leads his astray, especially from his young love Sibyl. He also befriends an artist who paints his portrait to be displayed in Dorian’s new mansion home & proclaims a deal for his soul.

This movie is sure a slow burner and as I’ve never read the novel I can’t say whether it stays true to the original source. Ben Barnes as the title character is extremely uncharismatic and at times uninteresting to watch. Colin Firth on the other hand, despite looking very strange with a beard, was intriguing to say the least. It was nice to see him play somebody other than the bumbling British guy in the various rom-coms he stereotypically plays. He plays a very devious character who seems to have nothing but ill intent towards Dorian from the moment they meet. The opening half of the movie kept you guessing and left you wondering from scene to scene. Once Dorian’s secret is revealed it all becomes rather predictable.

Last year I started the year off with Pretty Woman, a really good watch and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it, this year I haven’t been as lucky with Dorian Gray. At least the one positive I can take from this is that’s its uphill from here, right?


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