"Oh, the humanity, the humanity.
Imagine taking the best bits of a gorgeous, 18 point stag foraging in some
Highland idyll, hacking it to bits and then serving the lot up cold and
bleeding for 2 hour finger-up-the-arse for the tabloid set of what
Brideshead was supposedly all about all those years ago. Ben Whishaw, the
malnourished star of the film Parfum, the adaptation of Patrick Suskind's
famous first novel stars again as Sebastian Flyte, but this
time played as if recently released from Auschwitz, only without the
attendant whimsy. The man was born to play mental patients. Anything
higher off the ground than that was always going to be a stretch, no matter
who he's fucking.
The abomination they have playing Anthony Blanche should be dragged by his
heels through the theatre district on a Friday evening and then deposited on
Old Compton Street for the two-legged faggot rats to consume at their
leisure. Appalling beyond description. Tepid, unmenacing, charmless, dead.
"If you knew anything of sexual psychology, you would know that nothing
could give me keener pleasure than to be m-m-m-manhandled by you meaty boys
- ecstasy of the *naughtiest* kind." Oh Nickolas Grace, where are you when
we needed you the most?
Only Miramax and those Bronfman monsters could have so comprehensively
fucked up something once so beautiful. Gone is the nuance, gone is the
intrigue, gone is the subtelty and even though Charles Rider skewered the
living daylights out of both the Marchmaine children, this Bronfman
catastro-fest manages to serve up only the slightest peck of a gay kiss
under a tree for Seb, but salivates over managing to fuck the living
daylights out of Julia, mid Atlantic, tits, gowns, martinis and all.
Only in that old stalwart of the boards, Emma Thompson, do we have an echo
of the menace and mendacity of Waugh's original, and despite her highly
distracting and wildly recalcitrant lower right K9 tooth, pulls off a
bravura performance who, along with Michael Gambon, is the only redeeming
feature in 2 hours of celluloid atrocity destined for certain oblivion.
Stay home. Read the book again, then hug all 11 episodes of the 1981 Thames