I am no classic novel reader, the only classics I ever finished was Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. So the name of Oscar Wilde and his book, the Picture of Dorian Gray was out of my head. Only because I was freaking crazy overdosed by the British blood actor, Ben Barnes, who caught not only my eyes but also my heart since I first saw him in Prince Caspian, I acknowledged the phenomenal story.
The novel was intriguing, shocking story to the society when it first released. But over the Century, it became very interesting, especially for the film makers to bring the story about timeless narcissist to the silver screen. The Picture of Dorian Gray was probably one of the classic stories which has many movie adaptations. I never watched the other adaptations, but when 2010 version started to hit the big screen my obsession to Ben Barnes, made me wanting to watch it.
I read the novel after I watched the movie zillion times. I read many negative reviews, especially from those who already read the novel before. In one hand, I was glad that I watched the movie before I read the novel, because if I read the it first, I am positively sure, that I won’t watch the movie. The book was more psychologically horrid than what visually shown in the movie (though it was rated R) :D. But on the other hand, I have to admit, upon my admiration to Ben Barnes, the movie was lacking the essential of the story. So to those who never read the book or even heard about Oscar Wilde, watching 2010 Dorian Gray will send them into blank spot. Letting them bewildered. It will only becoming the gothic-horror- easy-to-forget-hedonism-pleasure-seeking movie.
Though in the book, Dorian Gray was described as golden haired and blue eyed ultimate handsome young man, but no one can deny that, the tall and aristocratic looking of Ben Barnes exudes an almost supra-natural beauty and made him the perfect choice for that role. Added by his ability to captured most of the emotions, he was convincing as Dorian Gray. As for me, his acting made the movie bearable to watched.
But the reason I write this blog was more than just my admiration to the British heartthrob upon his role as Dorian Gray. The reason was the background of his decision in taking the tantalizing role of Dorian Gray.
Ben Barnes read the book since his was teen and still thinking that Dorian Gray was the greatest story ever told. As to the world of celebrity-obsessed, youth-obsessed culture, “ Dorian Gray telling Wilde’s morality tale about eternal youth, ageless beauty, self-indulgent, pleasure seeking and the pitfall you might fall into, if you pursued them so relentlessly”. He fully understood that being cast as Dorian Gray is like being told that he is the ultimate in beauty and with his gorgeous look, he could be trapped in the world of celebrity obessed, just like Dorian Gray. But from his growing fame as an actor, he also learned that Dorian Gray was close to his world. He decided to take the role because “Wilde’s story is still extremely relevant. It really proves how little we’ve learned I think. We put so much emphasis on aesthetics and the power of staying young and all this botox crap. It’s nonsense”
The movie might be disappointing, the script might be lame and lack of essential, but I would still send my thank you to the actor who played the title character, because of his deep understanding, he was able to deliver the strong message about the story, “Wilde’s novel is quite able to explain what one shouldn’t do to be happy – one should quit paying much attention to appearance”
Living in the modern era of Dorian Gray world, Ben Barnes on his ultimate youth and beauty, refused to follow the rule by emphasizing his opinion, “We live in a society obsessed by youth and beauty, but I’d like to be something more than just a pretty face“. Because “The fixation on fame and appearance damage the personality, I don’t want to stay young forever”
I write to share what I see through my heart, my personal point of view and my own analysis.