Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Reprinted courtesy of Sean C. At the Movies

A modern adaptation of the 1891 Oscar Wilde's only published novel. It tells the story of a young man obsessed with his youthful beauty and in exchange for eternal youth, sells his soul. In the original and many of the earlier adaptations the picture was a painting that aged and became distorted due to Dorian's indulgent life. However, in this 2006 adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray the portrait is a video installation and the actor playing Dorian is better known as the son of a minister on 7th Heaven.

David Gallagher plays the title role of Dorian Gray with a determination and force that is beyond his 22 years. Gallagher portrays a character torn between reconciling the abuse he suffered as a child to the abusive man he has become. Over the film's 20 year span, the video installation shows Dorian's inner soul becoming more and more ugly and less and less resembling the beautiful youth he is on the outside. Eventually all things come to an end and Dorian's journey is no exception.

I left this movie thinking I need to see it many many more times in order to understand the multiple layers involved. The film is so powerful that I would not recommend having anything major to do after seeing it. You will need a day or two to recover.

This film was an Official Selection of the 2007 Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, but has not seen a theatrical or DVD release yet.

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