Jeremy Irons plays professor Humbert with passion, making his otherwise despicable character, a man with a conscious and needs that go beyond his power. Although you disagree of what he is doing to the little girl, you cannot deny the fact the man is sick and that he is not doing it with an ulterior motive or because a twisted fantasy. The tragic death of his first love at 14 stopped time for him from a sexual point of view and so, he is only attracted to 14 year-olds. You might say I am defending him or trying to justify his actions, but I don't think I am- I'm just telling you what I observed and understood from the film. Yes, what he did was unforgettable, but he did for love....and he never wanted to harm her. His naivety and blind passion for the girl made him go to extreme ways in order to protect her and, probably, his most surprising act was the vengeance he prepared for Clare Quilty, the man who was responsible for the rupture between him and Dolores. I could go on and on about his character and what drove him, but I think I might be doing into a controversial territory, so let's go back to Lo, shall we?
Oh, Lolita, you little temptress! The young woman knew exactly what she was doing and although she played the act very well, you could see how easily she understood Humbert's attraction to her and how she decided to act in her favor. Despite the fact that she was young and you could say she wasn't mature enough to realize the consequences of her actions, I think she knew and accepted the situation in order to survive. Here is what I don't get: why did she put up with it? Why did she last that long and then go with Quilty, who was even worse than Humbert? And the most important question: how did she really feel about her father- well, stepfather? At then end, when he visits Lo in her new house, they talk about the past, but I still can't tell how she really felt about it- she seemed to have left it all behind her, but...I don't know, I still don't get it! Dominique Swain was sensational as Lolita- she was very beautiful and she perfectly portrayed the part of a seductive, sensual little girl, with apparently no knowledge of her power over Humbert.
I could go around the bush forever with this story and the two main characters- their relationship is complicated, but I think in order to understand it, you first need to analyze and figure out each one individually- their human nature, their motivation and their needs. It is too much for me to talk about it here and I am sure that if I will read the book, I will probably understand it better, but this is a movie, so maybe I should go back to it.
From a film-making point of view, I could say the film was good. The cinematography was beautiful and I liked the random close-ups and weird camera movement that was used to express Humbert's panic or despair, plus the score was remarkably pleasant and appropriate to the story, but overall I didn't find anything special. After it ended, I quickly resumed my activities and forgot about it in 10 minutes. That's not a great sign of a particularly interesting movie, isn't it?
Oh you should read the book. I have been thinking of rereading it for a while now. I don't think I was knowledgeable enough for it the first time round.ReplyDelete
This film is kind of depressing. I still wish that Kubrick could have made it during his A Clockwork Orange times, because people need to stop judging it when they are making it.
Yeah, the movie is rather depressing and self-loathing, as someone said, but it was an interesting character analysis. I need to see the Kubrick version, too, although I don't know if I would like itDelete
I read the book last year and have been wanting to see the movie(s) since then. I think you'll understand the film better after reading the book - or at least a little. You probably won't find out what Dolores really thinks, but maybe get a better impression of the characters.ReplyDelete
By the way, Jeremy Irons as professor Humbert? I HAVE to see it!
If you read the book, definitely see the movie! I like this order better, that's why it would be kind of weird for me to read the book, now that I've seen the movie! We'll see!Delete
I have seen this film a long time ago but I have never seen Kubrick's version which I will see sometime this summer. I definitely want to see this again just to compare/contrast. Plus, I heard some filmmakers and revered critics have stated that they preferred Lyne's film over Kubrick's.ReplyDelete
Really? this is better than Kubrick's? I think I might agree, considering that the world in 1960s was not that open to these kind of subjects and maybe he didn't have a chance to explore the topic that wellDelete
Great review! I really need to see both versions of this one day, I can't believe I still haven't seen them!ReplyDelete
Thanks, you should, they are pretty interesting!Delete
Great writeup Diana, though this is one of those films I've heard about that I'm not that interested in seeing. I saw a French film called The Girl or something like that when I was in JR high that reminds me a bit of the Lolita character. I find it repulsive. Well, if you forgot about it after 10 minutes, then it's probably just not that compelling a movie then, ahah.ReplyDelete
Yeah, I guess it's notDelete
hmmm nice post, I had heard of this film and was familiar with the premise but have never seen it. You make it sound like its worth a watch, will try and check it out.ReplyDelete
It's quite interesting, in a dark, slightly erotic and wrong way- you should give it a try!Delete
I've seen both versions of the film and comparing them is a little tough. Kubrick made his at a time when he had to change important parts of the story. Quilty, for instance, is purely a clown who is not remotely menacing. Contrast this with the Quilty in Lyne's version, who is most definitely the height of evil. For the reason that Lyne could make a more realistic version, I prefer his movie over Kubrick's.ReplyDelete
As for Dolores, I agree we know that she can use Humbert to her advantage, but that we never really find out how she feels about him. I think that's intentional. We see her from his point of view, and she remains a mystery to him.
You're right, maybe it is intentional to see everything only from his point of view, especially when it comes to the movie. I wonder if the book reveals more!Delete