19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
what a wonderful love story!,
This review is from: Maurice [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I feel a bit cheesy for using that title, but I can't think of anything better. This is a love-story. Understandably, because of the gay content, it is also very political, but if you can step aside from all that you will enjoy it's true heart so much better. This is what I am sure E M Forster intended. He wasn't into making big political statements, if he was he would have have done as his friends urged him to, and had the novel published when homosexuality was legalised in 1967. (Instead it wasn't published in his lifetime. Although he wrote it way back in 1913 he didn't want to shock his mother). But there is no doubt to my mind that Forster was an incurable romantic, "A Room With A View" should prove that, and if "Maurice" was about a star-crossed man-woman relationship as that one was, we wouldn't be in any doubt that we were in Romance with a big R territory.
Maurice (played absolutely superbly by James Wilby) is a young upper-class Edwardian, constantly fighting his own inner demons about his sexuality. Whilst at Cambridge he forms an intense attachment to a fellow student, Clive, (Hugh Grant, again brilliantly acted). When a mutual friend is imprisoned with hard labour for soliciting a soldier outside a pub, Clive gets the jitters and backs off, retreating into starchy middle-class married respectability. Maurice meanwhile goes the rounds of doctors and psychiatrists, trying to find out if he can be "cured". During a weekend visit to Clive's country house he meets Alec Scudder, Clive's rather rough-and-ready gamekeeper. I know what you're thinking, gay version of "Lady Chatterley's Lover"! But I think, with all respect to D H Lawrence, this is better. Yes, Alec does break down Maurice's stuffy reserves, but what emerges is an incredibly touching and tender tale, as Maurice realises he is prepared to risk public censure and disgrace to hang onto his chance of love. Aside from the gay issues, I can also read the prejudices raised by the Edwardian class barrier in this. Maurice would have suffered the same shock horror! treatment from his own circle if Alec had been a working-class girl. Added to all the fine acting, (also very touching is Billie Whitelaw as Maurice's mother) is the undoubted fact that Rupert Graves is VERY sexy as Alec!