Tilda Swinton is great, and the Act Up/Gay is good message is great, but what's not so good is the portrayal of Piers and the King. They're obnoxious, rude, and hurtful. It's sad because it seems there are perfectly valid reasons to hate and overthrow them that have nothing to do with heterosexism. Oh, and Annie Lennox is great too, but interrupting the movie for a fawning music video was a strange move.
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Why Edward II was not so good.Reviewed byDarshan1Vote: 3/10
I should start off by mentioning that Edward II is a very strange movie. All the sets look the same, most of the actors aren't young and glamorous, and everyone speaks Elizabethan English even though it takes place in 1991.
There were times that I felt I just wasn't "getting" it. But after a while I realized I was getting it -- it's just that I wasn't offered very much to begin with.
This movie is so completely visually dull with its dirt floors and bare concrete walls (did I mention this takes place in 1991?) that I felt my eyes getting heavy. Would I have missed much if I had closed them? Well, a couple of softcore man-on-man sex scenes (did I mention that the actors aren't young and glamorous?) but other than that, looking at the inside of my eyelids wouldn't have been much less interesting.
Edward II's script is also quite lacking. I don't know if this is the case with the play (the only Marlowe play I've ever actually read is Dr. Faust) but in any case, I see no sense in making a movie from the script. I can't imagine someone reading the script and saying, "this looks good." The characters are all so coldly obsessed with whining about their own petty problems that there's no way someone could really care about them. Even their bratty children have their own agendas. Anytime someone was killed, I wasn't sure whether to be glad a character I hated was gone, or to be unhappy that another character I also hated had succeeded.
My only praise for this movie is the acting. Given what these actors had to work with, I think they made a good attempt. Unfortunately, this was not enough to make this particular movie worth watching.
My advice is to avoid this film and try and see a stage version instead.
It is highly unfair, I think, to criticise Marlowe's writing capabilities based on this rather terrible rendition of his play Edward II, as another user has commented on. In this film lines are swapped between characters, scenes are drastically changed, new scenes are added in and key scenes and characters are omitted. The whole film stands as a rather disfigured version of the original play.
Of course perhaps it could be said also to be unfair to criticise it's lack of loyalty to Marlowe's script, after all it is an adaptation. Looking at it simply as a movie it still creates rather laughable viewing. The actors talents are wasted on the directors odd obsession with the surreal and abstract, which is just simply random and out of place. And an odd musical cameo from Annie Lennox just adds to the madness.
To look at the positives yes there are some imaginative shots and several scenes are performed and presented well but as a whole it appears as a rather flimsy and hastily put together film that would be more suited as a three part drama on ITV.