film

reviews










 

 

Mary Reilly (1996)

Director:
Stephen Frears

COUNTRY
USA

Genre
Drama/Thriller
NORWEGIAN TITLE
Mary Reilly

RUNNING TIME
108 minutes

Producer:
Norma Heyman
Nancy Graham Tanen
Ned Tanen
Screenwriter:
Christopher Hampton


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Mary Reilly Julia Roberts
Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde John Malkovich
Mr. Poole George Cole
Mrs. Farraday Glenn Close

 

Review

Briton Stephen Frears (who was Oscar nominated for Best Directing for his 1990 movie The Grifters) reunites with the trio John Malkovich, Glenn Close and Christopher Hampton (Dangerous Liaisons) in this fresh angle on Robert Louis Stevenson's book about the schizophrenic doctor Henry Jekyll. This version is seen through the eyes of Jekyll's housekeeper Mary Reilly, and the approach lays the foundation for a more psychological analysis in contrast to the more classic horror of previous Jekyll/Hyde adaptations. Julia Roberts stars as the Mary Reilly character, who is not Stevenson's concoction, but comes from a 1990 novel by Valerie Martin. It all seems like a clever idea, with characters which should have been a great basis for a highly interesting dissection of the Jekyll/Hyde character and his interpersonal relations. But despite fine performances by Malkovich and an absolutely brilliant Glenn Close, the film remains static and the potential unfulfilled. Roberts doesn't seem to know where to go with her title character, and neither does Frears.

Copyright 2.4.1997 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang
(English version: 16.10.2020 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang)