19 December 2004 | didi-5
if you really have to ...
... this film is available for next to nothing at most online stores and mercifully doesn't run much over an hour and a half.
As the title suggests, this is an adaptation of the (actually very good) 17th century play by Thomas Middleton. But - oh dear - Marcus Thompson's film is terrible. It tries to be Ken Russell, and fails. It tries to be Romeo and Juliet when it looks more like Tromeo and Juliet. It modernises the dialogue to the point of just being ridiculous ('Yo, sister!'), it trivialises the 'All's Well That Ends Well' plot of the maid taking the mistress's place in bed to the point of being ridiculous.
In the lead roles, Amanda Ray-King struggles as Beatrice, and well she might with those silly dream interludes and that appalling dialogue. Ian Dury (ye gods!) is the pervy man-servant who mirrors Angelo in 'Measure for Measure', while Billy Connolly (!) gets in there somewhere.
'The Changeling' was so fraught with problems during its creation it is amazing it ever got a release. It was meant to be using a Hendrix soundtrack, but the rights were pulled at the last minute. It was filmed in 1994, but didn't crawl out until 1998. It suffers from perhaps the poorest acting I've ever seen, and the weirdest collection of cameos (including John Cooper-Clarke and Viv Stanshall, who died shortly after completing his role).
As I said, the film is around to rent/buy should you really want to. But don't go expecting a classic, will you?