I am sure that Dorian Gray is no stranger to anyone of us.
For the benefits of ignorant souls who never know the wonder of classical stories, The Picture of Dorian Gray, is a story about a young man whose physical appearance remained forever young while a portrait of him aged until Dorian Gray can't even bare to look at it.
This movie starred Ben Barnes of the Prince Caspian fame, seasoned actor Colin Firth, Ben Chaplin and Rachel Hurd-Wood. Ben Barnes played the young and innocent Dorian Gray who arrived at London to inherit his dead grandfather's fortune. He was slowly corrupted by Lord Harry Wotton (Colin Firth) who preached to him a life he never dare to live. He however, fell in love with one girl, Sybil (Rachel Hurd-Wood) and she died for him. After discovering that the portrait of himself painted by Basil (Ben Chaplin) was somewhat alive and was carrying all the mortal signs of himself, Dorian emerged himself in total hedonism. After years of traveling, young Dorian returned to London to meet his group of friends, now old and whithered. He then fell in love with Emily, Harry's young daughter. To protect Emily, Harry discovered Dorian's secret and tried to destroy the portrait. Dorian killed himself in the end.
The movie was rather artistically shot. The angle of the camera and the setting were perfectly arranged to suit the dark tone of the movie. I can see that at the beginning of the movie, when Dorian was still innocent and carefree, the colour tone of the movie was bright and colourful. When Dorian was corrupted and devious, the colour palate naturally turned darker. The soundtracks, though not very notable, but still fit the mood of the movie.
I would say that Ben Barnes weren't much of an actor. His innocent face, his I-am-so-in-love face, his orgasmic face, his sad face, his evil face, his every face... It is all that same straight face who needs to do nothing except to look pretty. However, I should applaud Colin Firth who was out of his usual Mr Darcy role. He played one wicked man with an hidden agenda who made Dorian Gray the monster he was.
Ratings : 6.5/10. Visually pleasing movie because I like the whole setting and arrangments of the scenes. Be warned of certain explicit content. Not a movie to watch with the whole family unless you want a very early sexual education and nudity exposure to kids.