You\’ll dislike Robert Pattinson in Bel Ami, which is probably good, because you\’re supposed to. Directed by Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod, Bel Ami follows the manipulative and scandalous world of 1890 Paris.
Pattinson steps into the money obsessed, power hungry role of Georges Duroy. The film follows his rise to power as he seduces and sleeps his way to the top, careless of whom he hurts (or which well endowed married woman he has to sleep with) to get there. Though Pattinson does an admiral job as Georges, his pale skin and tired eyes make it hard for him to shake the vampireness of his previous roles.
Uma Thurman shows again that she can play any role, as she becomes Madeleine Forestier, a bright woman linking plots to overthrow the French government, while Christina Ricci fits the charming role of Clotilde de Marelle. The dismissal of women\’s strength and intelligence within society is key to the story, as Thurman\’s character advises Pattinson, â€˜The most important people in Paris are not the men, but their wives.\’
The plot is unusual, but that\’s to be expected as it\’s based on the classic French novel, written in 1885 by Guy de Maupassant. This adaption however, falls a bit short as key points are lost between the bed sheets.
With the strength of an all-star cast, the film would improve if the directors had spent more time enhancing the intrigue, and making the viewer care a bit more about Georges â€“ admittedly hard to do with the character- but necessary to keep the audience\’s attention.
Pattinson tests his wings in this period piece rife with scandal.
Bel Ami is in cinemas now.
Category: Film & TV