Sunday, May 6, 2012
Quoth the Raven: "Reynolds"
This weekend, I took Mrs. Obscure to see The Raven. I was more entertained than she, who did not like the ending. Since this is a piece of fiction reinterpreting radically a few facts from Poe's life and disregarding others, but allowing Poe's life to end the same way, she really could not have expected a happy ending. Not to mention the fact that, well, this is a film about Edgar Allan Poe, even if it is a fictional Poe. Happiness was not exactly one of this themes.
Hollywood continues to do decent by period pieces: the film captures a grimy 18th century, and I enjoyed the costuming and sets. John Cusak looks good as Poe and does a bit of scenery chewing that seems fitting for the popular figure, if not the historical one -- but even then, there would seem to be at least some historical basis for the popular notions.
If you can accept creative license in the fictionalization of a historical figure, then you may enjoy this somewhat gory thriller/mystery/period piece. I did. I'm planning on grading movies from now on as if they were academic assignments: A+ to F. I'd give The Raven a B. If you enjoy Gothic imagery, I recommend it. Also, the mystery has the benefit of not being overly obvious, as many film mysteries are.