Dark. Very dark.
It reminds me of the disappointment I felt after the last Batman movie; then, I was expecting comic hero kiddie humour and less mafia style violence. This time I was expecting more of the famous Wilde witticisms and I just get the dark side of Oscar set in the gloomiest part of east London.
In fairness, this is only because I made the mistake of recently reading the book; the kiss of death as far as enjoying any subsequent big screen performance is concerned.
The second part of the book is indeed very shadowy. I recall a chapter in the middle that I could not even focus on to fully read, but the film goes into sinister mode right from the off with just one Oscar Wilde quip in the opening scenes uttered splendidly by Colin Firth.
Truth be told, in Oscar Wilde’s world, everyone is gay and the film eventually goes into that arena but in full debauchery mode whereas the author, went as far as he could go in the late 19th century, leaving plenty to the imagination.
Not to say the film is poor. On the contrary, it is well made, with good performances and in the main finely cast although with the unthinkable absence of Rupert Everett. Surely no Oscar Wilde film should be made without at least a small part for him? In his youth, he would have played the perfect Mr Gray himself but even now I feel he is easier on the eye than Ben Barnes, who takes the lead in this film. (Sorry Ben) 5/10 Smile factor 2/10 (should be much higher for an Oscar Wilde film)