Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Hysteria Commentary

Really, what can you say about a movie that chronicles the invention of a sex toy in Victorian England?    Only the English could really pull this off.  Much like Burke and Hare, they take a true story and a lot of license and turn it into a fast paced, humourous story.  The difference is that Hysteria had story that lends itself much better to humour than the murder for organ harvesting that Burke and Hare had.  Because it has the base for a comedy, the film has to rely less on clever writing and can let the actors do their thing.

And the actors do their thing very well.  Maggie Gyllenhall is terrific as the "hysterical" woman who sees the whole therapy as quackery.  Jonathan Pryce is solid as the older doctor.  Hugh Dancy has the look of an up and coming doctor with crazy new ideas.  And Rupert Everett is fantastic as the quirky sidekick that helps out.

But I think the best thing about this movie is that they didn't bog it down in the romance story.  You know going in that there is going to be a budding romance between Gyllenhall and Dancy.  That's a given.  They could ahve really dragged out her trial and his feelings and such.  But they kept that part light with the rest of the film and made a very tight 100 minute movie that entertains at a decent pace all the way through.  From start to finish, Hysteria stays fairly upbeat and quirky to give the viewer a good time.

See it if you get a chance.

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