7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A Footnote to Cabaret,
This review is from: Christopher And His Kind [DVD] (DVD)
Christopher Isherwood apparently knew what he was doing when he destroyed his Berlin diaries and published his Berlin Stories instead. They later on turned into the play I Am a Camera and, ultimately, Cabaret. He returned to his real adventures in the 1970s but the book seems addressed rather to those who can't get enough of his fiction and are begging for more than the general public. Which does not mean it is a bad book, quite on the contrary, Isherwood was far too good a writer to do any such thing as to publish a bad book.
Christopher and His Kind is nothing more than a footnote to Cabaret addressed to those who want more of the same thing. Unfortunately, they are bound to be disappointed. This is a typical biopic in which Ireland pretends to be Berlin in the early 1930s, acting is so so, and the plot rather disappointing and bland. The movie chooses the early part of Isherwood's memoir and one can hardly wonder why - the costs. Isherwood's attempts at saving his Heinz took him to the Netherlands, Sweden and Portugal. It would probably be quite difficult to get it all in Ireland at a reasonable price so all we get is Berlin, mostly interiors. When Auden informs Isherwood that he decided to show him a gay club instead of the Brandenburg Gate, you get a fair warning, you won't see the Gate in this movie. You won't see too much of gay life either. As a result there is little drama here and not much of a plot - when the things get real rough we don't get to see them only to be informed of what happened in a rather short scene.
The movie can be quite touching at times but it fails to convince in the longer run. We can neither learn of the drama of Isherwood's life (just a glimps of his life-long conflict with his widowed mother) nor why he actually became a famous writer (not due to sleeping with Berlin boys which is presented in a rather unconvincing manner). In short - if you're interested in Isherwood, get the book and read it, you won't regret it. As for the movie - don't rush buying it. It can wait for a rerun.