WOMEN IN LOVE
DIRECTOR: KEN RUSSELL
COUNTRY: ENGLAND 1970
CINEMATOGRAPHY: BILLY WILLIAMS
MUSIC: GEORDES DELERUE
CAST: Oliver Reed, Glenda Jackson, Alan Bates and Jennie Linden
SUPER FEATURES: Excellent adaptation of D. H. Lawrence's novel
It is rather difficult to describe this film, just as it is to describe the multi faceted novel from which it is derived.
This film could, either, be about the individual relationships which people could develop, as much as it could be about what the industrial age was about to bring, an age of greed, obsessive desires, and a lack of communication between those involved with which to resolve the differences.
Like the novel, full of very strong characters, the movie is a breeze, and a beautiful one at that. Between Oliver Reed, Alan Bates, Glenda Jackson and Jennie Linden, we have an incredible array of interplay of action that really stands out, and gives the film a life that is often rarely found. But as the novel, there is more about it, than just the strong characters. There is the advent of the industrial age, which is beginning to take shape as an avenue where the greedy ones, will jump and take advantage of the less lucky ones for their own profit and streamlined goals. And those who do not share those sentiments will get literally crushed. However, Gerald, the industrialist, never really softens his stand, and pays the price for it.
The point is clear. When any individual tries to manipulate the society around him, they pay a tough price. The
industrial age is also destroying the well to do.
Amidst the life in a well to do family, Gerald makes a good friend, who ends up marrying a woman who is his intended's best friend. And while their relationship is basically ok, it still suffers from the woman's less point of view that friendships can not surpass that of the feelings which should be in a marriage. Bang... the industrial life has even struck somewhere else where it shouldn't. Gerald, without the woman he has come to love, but hates, has now realized that for all his successes, he is a personal failure, and decides to resolve the situation himself.
The aloofness, and cold instinct with which he once fired an older gentleman from working in his own company because he was too slow, has now come around full circle to embrace him. His beloved, has left, and taken up with an artist, that at least has a better feeling for women, even if it is just an excuse to pick them up. At least the artist is honest about his feelings. And this is the main point of the story, and what is missing in the society which D. H. Lawrence is describing.
Gerald's friend (Alan Bates) is a bit of a poet, a man who loves to dream and play. And he is also in danger, but at least he has submitted to a marriage which is reasonably satisfying, though obviously not complete. But his romantic attitude is in danger.
This is probably, Ken Russell's best film of all, and the one that had the least amount of his well known antics, and though photographed to please and shock (try the fig eating sequence), at least this film tries to show exactly what D. H. Lawrence had in mind, which Russell is obviously well aware of.
Excellent photography and costumes.
Very beautifully done film.
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