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  • Being a big fan of Irish actor Ciaran Hinds, I got my hands on a copy of this BBC film. And was rather disappointed. What is supposed to be dark and mysterious turns out depressing, predictable and rather trashy.

    Hinds plays the role of London solicitor Charlie Cross. He's used to being dragged out of his comfortable bed at all hours to bail out clients. He has a wife and teenage daughter. They live a comfortable life. No surprises. Everything, as he says, a man could want.

    Everything changes when he's called upon to defend Edward Bosco, a rather diffident peculiar man accused of murdering prostitutes under the guise of being a photographer. He answers questions like, "Are you guilty?" with an enigmatic "Aren't we all?"

    Cross is sent by Bosco to tell his girlfriend Viola, a waitress, what's happened. The usually unflappable cross is blown away by the mysterious Viola (played by Amanda Ooms) and gets lost in her dark eyes and pouty lips. Before long, the two are involved in a torrid affair despite that fact Charlie is representing Bosco and living a lie at home.

    Well, mystery flies out the window when the crap hits the fan. Reality eventually intrudes and Charlie's not-so-carefully kept secrets start spilling out. The result is infinitely boring and you can see it coming about a mile away. The film seems more an excuse to see Hinds and Ooms cavorting in the sack than to build any suspense or tension.

    I never pass up a chance to see Hinds act but this one is not worth seeing unless you're truly a fan.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I ordered this film as a DVD. because it can no longer be found anywhere. I disagree entirely with the other reviewer. This is a film about destructive sexual passion, and I found it to be a very good drama. All of the actors give fine performances and it is disturbing to watch the central character destroy his profession, his marriage, and his home life because of a sexual obsession with a callous woman. I also think the sex scenes were necessary in order to display his uncontrollable lust for the female character, who ultimately destroys him.

    This ttale has been told before, by Somerset Maugham,, in "Of Human Bondage", a very famous literary work and several versions of film. Such destructive passions do exist, and it was interesting to watch such a one unfold layer by layer.

    I also am a great fan off Ciarim Hinds, the man who falls to ruin, and it was a joy to watch him. His acting as usual is superb, and his facial expressions as he watches his own life unravel are remarkable. The pathos of his ultimate fate is so sad.

    This was a 1998 BBC television drama, and is characteristic of the BBC's good work. The film quality is not great, because the DVD has been copied from television, but it is no longer possible to find an original DVD or to find any site streaming it.

    The other reviewer should read "Of Human Bondage". I give it a 10 out of 10.