Monday, June 24, 2013

Prick Up Your Ears

Stormy affairs are ones Hollywood usually tends to avoid. After all, Hollywood's more interested in the ones that end happily ever after, not those that end on a bitter note.

Stephen Frears' Prick Up Your Ears is one such film. Chronicling the relationship between playwright Joe Orton (Gary Oldman) and Kenneth Halliwell (Alfred Molina), the film shows that opposites in fact do not attract. Sometimes it can result in violence.

Now I'm not too familiar with Orton or his work (I only know of how he met his fate), but Oldman shows what kind of person Orton was. He was a bit of a flamboyant person, more so when he met Halliwell. And Oldman makes this role his own.

Likewise, Molina is absolutely transfixing as Halliwell. Here is a man perpetually consumed by jealously. He's jealous of Orton's career taking off while his own falters, the men stealing his lover from him and most importantly, his inability to keep his life in order while Orton's carefree with his own. It's a great piece of acting.

Prick Up Your Ears is a mostly solid film. (Mostly because it does taper off every now and again.) Like what he did with his previous film My Beautiful Laundrette, Frears shows that there's no stigma to a same-sex relationship. And thanks to the work from Oldman, Molina and Vanessa Redgrave, it's worthy of a look.

My Rating: ****

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