such a pointless movie
All of these films share one commonality, that being a kind of emotional center that humanizes a cast of monsters.
Story: It's very simple but honestly that is fine.
I knew very little of what Lady Chatterley's Lover was about before watching this adaptation of the 1928 novel of the same name, due to the fact that I don't really read classics, until I saw the trailer for it one day on BBC One. After I saw the trailer a few times, I knew that I wanted to watch it and then, after viewing it, possibly get around to reading the novel. Now that I have seen the TV Film, I know that I am definitely going to finish the novel at some point in the near future.The on-screen chemistry between Lady Chatterley & Mellors, portrayed by Holliday Grainger and Richard Madden respectively, had me hooked from their very first meeting. I found myself willing them to be together and was almost brought to tears on numerous occasions in the last 40 or so minutes of the show.Having already seen Madden as the self-proclaimed "King of the North" Robb Stark in the current HBO adaptation of George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones I had an idea of how I felt regarding his acting and let me say, he does not disappoint. His portrayal of gamekeeper Oliver Mellors was, to me, simply astounding.I am relatively new to the acting of both Grainger and Norton, having only fleetingly seen them as small roles in other TV shows. But boy did they impress me. While Norton was given the task of playing the wheelchair-bound Sir Clifford Chatterley which, in my eyes, could not have been the easiest of roles for an actor to play, Grainger was given the role of Lady Constance "Connie" Chatterley. Grainger plays Lady Chatterley so very well. She is a character that you'll just love to hate.I understand how film critics may be a little disappointed with this adaptation, if they have previously read the novel, as I quite often compare a film adaptation with its book counterpart but, as someone who went into watching this adaptation completely blind from knowing any previous history of it, I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely watch it again.
Compared to earlier versions of the Lawrence novel on film and television - for example, Ken Russell's 1993 television version or Sylvia Kristel's porno-fest (1981) directed by her then-husband Just Jaeckin, Jed Mercurio's telefilm is relatively chaste in terms of sexual content. We see Mellors (Richard Madden) and Connie (Holliday Grainger) making love, but it is tastefully filmed by the fire in Mellors' shack, using lighting strongly reminiscent of Russell's WOMEN IN LOVE (1969).Director Mercurio seems far more interested in exploring the consequences of class-difference in a highly stratified society. Clifford Chatterley (James Norton) views his mine-workers and servants as sub-humans, whose sole function consists of serving the rich. In one sequence he sits in his motor-cycle and sidecar and lets Mellors push him out of a rut, even though this proves injurious to Mellors' health. He treats Ivy Bolton (Jodie Comer) with equal disdain - that is, until the climactic moment when Bolton confronts her master with the news of Lady Chatterley's affair.The contrast between rich and poor could not be more stark. The film opens with a mining accident in which Ivy's husband Ted (Chris Morrison) is crushed to death by an underground fall of coal. Left with little or nothing to survive on, Ivy can only eke out an existence serving the rich. By contrast Clifford lives a life of comfortable gentility, indulging in frequent parties whose guests dance to Scott Joplin rag-times played by a servile band.It is these class-differences that inspire Mellors' resentment. The reason for his feelings is clearly explained towards the end; suffice to say that he believes that the landed gentry have little or no conception of what it is to live on the bread-line, at the beck and call of the upper classes. We might be persuaded to see his affair with Lady Chatterley as a means for him to take revenge on all the social slights he has experienced throughout his life.Yet Grainger's performance proves that this is clearly not the case. As Lady Chatterley she spends much of her time caring for her husband, even though it is a thankless task. Frustrated by her husband's impotence, she looks for love and compassion; and finds both in Mellors. She resembles a ship without a rudder; constrained by the conventions of a restrictive upper class, she longs to express herself both emotionally and sexually. Grainger proves extremely good at suggesting this frustration through small facial gestures puncturing her veneer of social respectability.To be honest, this version of LADY CHATTERLEY does not make any attempt to explore sexual feelings in any great depth, as in Lawrence's source-text. Director Mercurio sees the story as a tussle between duty and emotion, which reaches a climax at the end when the three protagonists at last confront one another.This is a thoroughly satisfying production of the Lawrence classic, marred only by some syrupy music (by Csrly Paradis) that sometimes directs our attention away from the characters' emotions.
The only other version of Lady Chatterley I have seen was the 1993 version directed by Ken Russell, the Infant Terrible of British Cinema returning to BBC television. The series was a critical and ratings success and of course whipped up controversial headlines but this was Russell being respectful for the television medium although he still added a bit of his flair in which I believe was his last substantial directing project.This cut down version directed and adapted by Jed Mercurio once again shows that the good doctor tends to struggle outside the confines of a hospital ward.Constance Reid marries the upper class Sir Clifford Chatterley a wealthy mine owner who is paralysed in the Great War. Her sexual frustrations drives him to a passionate affair with the gamekeeper Mellors who also served in the trenches with her husband.Although DH Lawrence novel becomes infamous for its sex the book also examined the class relationships between the wealthy and the working classes.Holliday Grainger plays the sultry Lady but she looks more innocent and vulnerable, rejected by her wheelchair bound husband who she loves but he can no longer can get physical with her.James Norton plays Sir Chatterley and Richard Madden is Mellors but I felt both actors were interchangeable for each other's parts not something you can say about Sean Bean in the Russell version.The sexual content here was toned down. Mercurio did not want the sex scenes to overpower the drama but he also subdued the class war aspects of the novel as he made everyone too nice.Sir Chatterley is shown as the decent sort of landowner despite his snobbishness, injured doing his duty for King and Country, wanting an heir and its only towards the latter part of the film that the class divide is raised more explicitly.The tenderly short sex scenes robs Mellors of the animal passion that attracts both he and Lady Chatterley. In short the drama leaves him impotent because without the sex he really is not that interesting a character.The ending based on a draft of the novel does not entirely work for me. Both Lady Chatterley and her lover leaving together to an uncertain future seems far fetched for the time period. She has given up her title, wealth to a man who seemingly has no prospects now he has lost his job.
Constance Reid meets Sir Clifford Chatterley, a wealthy Mining Colliery owner, and the two quickly marry. After a short passionate renaissance Clifford who is serving in the Army is caught by a bomb blast and suffers massive injuries, which leave him wheelchair bound. Oliver Mellors, a fellow survivor from the front line turns up at the Chatterley's estate seeking the role of Gamekeeper. Mellors is employed due to the fact that he served in Clifford' regiment. Constance is seemingly quite a passionate woman, and when she first sees the sultry looking Mellors there's a definite attraction, and a love affair between the two soon begins. Clifford becomes desperate for an heir, hugely frustrated because he can't produce one he tries to initiate proceedings.The scene of Clifford getting caught up in the bomb blast was fantastic, it looked very realistic. I would question how Constance hadn't heard of his accident though.I applaud James Norton for his performance as Clifford, he's a truly versatile actor, he has the ability to make you love him and hate him, and in this he made me pity him, he is fantastic, and is the one giving the others the masterclass in acting.It's a very well behaved version of such a well known story, it's well acted, it looks good. I just felt it was missing a bit of spark, maybe Lady C herself, possibly she should have been a bit more intense, a bit more passionate. I felt Holliday Grainger got better as it went on, there was an innocence to her character, just missing a little bit of allure, but on the whole it was pretty good. 6/10