Mary Reilly [Import]
Stephen Frears reunites with the production talents who made the tempting Dangerous Liaisons for this new look at the infamous Dr. Jekyll (a deft John Malkovich). Instead of being in the laboratory where the good doctor unlocks his evil twin, we stay in the mansion overlooking the lab. An inquisitive, proper maid, Mary Reilly (Julia Roberts) slowly becomes Dr. Jekyll's confidant. Rather than a horror story, the film is a spooky mystery that keeps us in the dark, and what a wonderful dark Frears and his designers have fashioned. Roberts carries the movie, digging deep for her best dramatic work to date. Though some may wish she'd show more passion, she holds her emotions appropriately in check. The movie faced considerable, well-documented troubles, including the reshooting of several scenes months after the initial production. This probably affected the finale, which has little impact and nearly ruins a good thing. --Doug Thomas --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
I was hoping it would come out on bluray.
It didn't so I purchased the dvd.
I thought John Malcovich played Jekyll/Hyde as only he can.
He can be one scary guy.
Julia Roberts is great as Mary Reilly.
I will watch this one again and would recommend to a friend.
Originally meant to be a Tim Burton production with Winona Ryder as Reilly and Christopher Hampton on the script, Burton left due to issues with Sony Pictures, the film's owner, regarding the fate of his movie “Ed Wood”. An incident that put Mary Reilly's adaptation in danger until Stephen Frears came on board, reuniting with his former scriptwriter, but also John Malkovich as Jekyll, Glenn Close as Mrs. Faraday, Philippe Rousselot as director of Photography, George Fenton as composer, Norma Heyman as producer, and Stuart Craig in Production Design. In short, a large portion of the Dangerous Liaisons film crew came on board, giving to many the impression the movie would be a masterpiece like the Laclos Adaptation. Among the actors asked for the title role came various names like Uma Thurman, but ultimately the choice fell on Julia Roberts. A nice surprise as she was and is mostly doing comedic roles and romantic films. Giving her an opportunity to see another display of that actress's talents.
On the plus sides of Mary Reilly, the visuals are wonderful and rich.Read more ›
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde... only from the point of view of Dr. Jeckyll's maid, Mary Reilly! Let's get Julia Roberts in the title role and John Malkovich to play Jekyll and Hyde!" Sounds like a winner, no?
One is never quite sure who is to blame for all the missed opportunities here; whether the studio wanted to make one film and the director another, or whether director Stephen Frears just made bad choices, but this movie never quite jells. Indecision seems to plague it at almost every turn. When it should be scarey, it settles for being merely creepy. When it should be creepy, it is merely weird. When it should be suspenseful, it goes conventional.
Julia Roberts seems more constrained in this picture than Winnona Rider and Sadie Frost do in their corsets in "Bram Stoker's Dracula." She stays in her "wounded bird" persona throughout the entire film. The trouble is we are given no preamble to explain why should be that way, and no development to explain why she should stay that way.
John Malkovich, ever the unconventional actor, makes an astounding choice with his character, choosing to play Dr. Jekyll
not as the obsessed mad scientist we're so familiar with, but as a doomed Byronic romantic. His Mr. Hyde is just the flip side of that doomed romanticism, blatently sexual, full of spontaneous, unrestrained libido. It's a brilliant choice. If
Frears had picked up this cue and run with it, we would have had an interesting film about the "fallen angel syndrome" which has been the bane of the dating scene for the last 50 years.Read more ›
HOWEVER, considering a triple bill - this one fits snugly into the 'OTHERS' and 'FROM HELL' - with a gentle bow in the direction of 'The Innocents'.
JULIA ROBERTS shines as the maid - much maligned and mistreated - only to end up in this house of horror - emotional horror that is shown in vivid flashback [Mary's childhood], etc - our dear Charles Dickens was never this explicit about the chauvinistic society of the Victorian ear .... especially the mistreatment of women and children .... chattel?
THE TALE weaves itself around the going on of the dear Doctor and his depraved ['what literally lies beneath'] alter ego - and this rather odd somewhat sado-masochistic [perhaps ala 'Nightcomers'] evolves around Mary, The Doctor and Mr. Hyde ....
VERY CREEPY STUFF - especially the swinging gangways between the lab. and the house ... excellent art direction and costuming ... but incredibly creepy stuff .....
Similar to DANGEROUS LIASONS - this movie literally becomes darker, and darker as it progresses .... a hidden JULIA ROBERTS/JOHN MALKOVICH treasure - worth visiting!
Most recent customer reviews
Julia Roberts is great in this movie. I love the ambiance. Thanks for the service.Published 3 months ago by Sylvie Minville
i admit,it has been awhile since i've seen this movie.however,i still
believe i can write an informed review on it.the reason is simple-Julia
Roberts. Read more
I don't really understand what everyone is talking about when referring to Ms. Robert's performance. I thought it was exceptional. It was nice to see her stretch. Read morePublished on June 20 2004 by Octavia Holland
ONE of the BLEAKEST films ever made about this subject - practically in black and white [nice touch] hi-lighting the splashes of vermillion - and bright red blood! Read morePublished on May 22 2004
I recently purchased this movie on DVD. It is a remarkable film. ALL the actors are fantastic. The Julia Roberts character is so interesting; timid but not really, loyal and... Read morePublished on May 21 2004
This is the 10th time that i just finished watching the movie! I cant help it but watching again and again! Read morePublished on April 13 2004
Very atmospheric and compelling film. Jeckyll & Hyde seen through the eyes of young victorian house maid Mary Reilly, Julia Roberts in a perfect role. Read morePublished on April 12 2004
As a fan of what I have heard called gothic novels - Bronte, Dickens, etc. - I have got to put in a word for this movie. This is a phenomenal movie. Read morePublished on Feb. 14 2004 by Jennifer B. Barton