27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Glossy, still vaguely intellectual, and well worth watching,
This review is from: Possession [DVD]  (DVD)
I can't understand why this didn't do better on its cinematic release. True, I'd read the book and contrary to all expectation (having found previous Byatts pretentious and turgid) greatly enjoyed it, so I may have been biased. But even making allowances for a natural partiality I still think this is an excellent adaptation and an eminently watchable film with a stellar cast. Moving, at times tragic, ultimately redemptive, all of that... Maybe the problem is that no-one turns into a half-naked blue superhero at any point...
The adaptation really is splended, and the cast act their socks off. True, they are all infinitely better-looking than any academic I've ever met (I would have pursued English Lit beyond postgrad level if it had been populated by lecturers, even caddish and sneaky lecturers, who resembled Toby Stephens), and I can only imagine that the reason underlying Aaron Eckhardt's poor career progress is that he must have been spending so much time in the gym, rather than the library. They also live in beautiful houses, and cinematographically the film is a delight. But above all the story - which still, despite its compression from a huge doorstop of a discursive narrative to a fairly short film, manages to retain at least vestiges of the debate about, as Maud Bailey puts it, the awful things that men and women do to each other - remains a glorious detective story through the windings of love, literature and some very unethical antics in libraries.