Dolittle

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

What a truly underwhelming film.

The cast of “Dolittle” is beyond stellar : Emma Thompson, Ralph Fiennes, Jim Broadbent, Antonio Banderas, Selena Gomez, Rami Malek, Octavia Spencer, Marion Cotillard, John Cena, Frances de la Tour…I mean, gosh, whew, yes, whew, WHAT a stunning line up.

The special effects are absolutely super.

The story line and the plot, however, are terrible.

Truly terrible.

Really & truly terrible.

You have to wonder what on earth Emma Thompson, Ralph Fiennes, Jim Broadbent, Antonio Banderas, Selena Gomez, Rami Malek, Octavia Spencer, Marion Cotillard, John Cena, & Frances de la Tour were thinking about when they signed up for this rambling, over-complicated, silly film?

Did they not read the script beforehand?

Did they not wonder what Queen Victoria and a scheming courtier (Jim Broadbent…why? Why oh why oh why?) were doing in this story?

I imagine little children might like it, because there are talking animals, though they might not get the Queen Victoria/scheming courtier sub plot. Lucky children.

Oh, silly me, I forgot to mention Robert Downey Jr.

What can one say about Robert Downey Jr?

God alone knows what accent he was aiming for, but I thought he started out as vaguely American-actor-trying-to-sound-Scottish, but then he drifted off into American-actor-trying-to-sound-Welsh, and a lot of the time he sounded as though he was mumbling, & you couldn’t hear him properly, so it was all a bit sad, really.

The film was too long, too convoluted, and too unfunny.

There should have been lots of charm & lots of humour, but other than the tiger reverting to being a cat & chasing a beam of light, that was it.

You could happily have axed 1/3 of the film without anyone noticing.

A total & utter waste of a fab cast.

A total & utter waste of amazing animation of the animals.

If you have little children, then I think they’ll enjoy it. There’s nothing the little dears can’t cope with – there’s even a flatulent dragon.

Yup, it descends to that level of slapstick.

A Bigger Splash

What a strange film this is.

Fab cast –  Ralph Fiennes and the drop dead gorgeous Tilda Swinton.

Clothes to die for.  Well, Ms Swinton’s at any rate.  Her 1940s and 1950s Dior-designed look is too, too fabulous and she was a visual joy.  Those backless dresses are simply stunning.

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But as for the film overall…well, it always seems to be on the brink of delivering some huge drama, what with all that slightly faded retro look to the cinematography, and the dusty winds whipping across the scrubby landscape.  It kept feeling as though Something Significant Was Happening.  But I never quite knew what it was.

I didn’t, for example, get the point of the super elegant slightly older French lady and her younger trout-pout-y companion (daughter?).  I never quite fathomed what they were doing, nor what their point was in furthering the narrative.

I didn’t really like the buffoonish characterisation of the local carabinieri, and the autograph scene was beyond weird.  That was a moment which I thought Must Be Very Significant.  But on reflection, it might just have been rather silly.

I did like the look of the film, though it was all a tad too languorous and l-o-n-g-d-r-a-w-n out.

Yes, be honest, not sure I fully understood the plot, but neither did my two companions, which was reassuring.

But Ms Swinton was brilliant, hardly talking at all, because her ageing rockstar character has an injured throat, but yet communicating stunningly, without ever really speaking.

Ralph Fiennes was fun as an irritating motor mouth.

Can’t decide if I’m getting prudish in my old age, but there seemed to be loads and loads of superfluous full frontal nudity.  We got it, first time round –  hot, Mediterranean, old lovers, tension, passion.  No need for Mr. Fiennes to strip off every time he dived into the pool.