34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
All hail Ken Russell,
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This review is from: The Music Lovers 1970 DVD (DVD)
Ken's mythic biopic of Tchaikovsky is a glorious affair; oppulent, crazed, intense, full of great music and fantastic performances; it treads a fine line between commercial cinema and the flat-out poetic as Richard Chamberlain pulls out the stops to give us a passionate performance (probably not too far from his own life) as the tortured artist struggling with his sexuality and desire to be 'normal' in the face of public opinion that could destroy him. Glenda Jackson (looking remarkably beautiful, save for the last act where she undergoes a massive transformation) offers fine support and goes completely Tonto as a Tchaikovsky's sexually frustrated wife. Chamberlain and Jackson spark together quite nicely.
The film looks amazing and this DVD edition (in widescreen, NOT 4:3 as stated on the back cover) offers up a pretty good print. Sadly it is lacking any extras or subtitles for the hard of hearing.
If looking for a 'serious' film on Tchaikovsky then - be warned - THIS IS NOT IT. Ken Russell wanted to create a mythical interpretation of the man. It was pretty much reviled upon release, but I think it ranks as one of Ken's best films - not THE best (that dubious honour goes to the beserk and beautiful 'Lisztomania') - but it's well worth checking out and the 2 hour running time simply zips by. It should have been boring, but in Ken's more than capable hands, it is a great british film.