In this Derek Jarman version of Christopher Marlowe's Elizabethan drama, in modern costumes and settings, Plantagenet king Edward II hands the power-craving nobility the perfect excuse by ...
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In this Derek Jarman version of Christopher Marlowe's Elizabethan drama, in modern costumes and settings, Plantagenet king Edward II hands the power-craving nobility the perfect excuse by taking as lover besides his diplomatic wife, the French princess Isabel, not an acceptable lady at court but the ambitious Piers Gaveston, who uses his favor in bed even to wield political influence - the stage is set for a palace revolt which sends the gay pair from the throne to a terminal torture dungeon. Written by
I should start off by mentioning that Edward II is a very strange movie. All the sets look the same, most of the actors aren't young and glamorous, and everyone speaks Elizabethan English even though it takes place in 1991.
There were times that I felt I just wasn't "getting" it. But after a while I realized I was getting it -- it's just that I wasn't offered very much to begin with.
This movie is so completely visually dull with its dirt floors and bare concrete walls (did I mention this takes place in 1991?) that I felt my eyes getting heavy. Would I have missed much if I had closed them? Well, a couple of softcore man-on-man sex scenes (did I mention that the actors aren't young and glamorous?) but other than that, looking at the inside of my eyelids wouldn't have been much less interesting.
Edward II's script is also quite lacking. I don't know if this is the case with the play (the only Marlowe play I've ever actually read is Dr. Faust) but in any case, I see no sense in making a movie from the script. I can't imagine someone reading the script and saying, "this looks good." The characters are all so coldly obsessed with whining about their own petty problems that there's no way someone could really care about them. Even their bratty children have their own agendas. Anytime someone was killed, I wasn't sure whether to be glad a character I hated was gone, or to be unhappy that another character I also hated had succeeded.
My only praise for this movie is the acting. Given what these actors had to work with, I think they made a good attempt. Unfortunately, this was not enough to make this particular movie worth watching.
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