White Mischief [VHS]
Adaptation of the book by James Fox, based on a true story, which sportrays life in British Colonial Africa between the wars. Set in Nairobi in 1940, its plot elements are based on an actual unsolved murder. Newly-arrived Diana (Greta Scacchi) means to leave her husband (Joss Ackland) for Erroll (Charles Dance), till Erroll is murdered.
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However, for those expecting a reasonable quality DVD you will be disappointed. The sound quality is poor and the movie looks as if it was shot through a net curtain - more like a camcorder ‘rip’ from the back row of the local flea pit.
This seems to be a recurring problem as other DVD’s I’ve bought from the BBC (Gormenghast was of remarkably awful quality), and from “4”, have repeatedly failed to be of an acceptable standard.
If you can grin and bear the woeful recording quality, and still enjoy the wonderful story and acting in this movie, it’s worth a couple of quid – but I’d rather have seen it on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Having such a poor quality DVD in my collection is like having a cuckoo in the nest.
What went wrong (apart from making little use of the glorious location) was that there was nobody to like in the entire film. Characters were two-dimensional, and no effort was made to explore the personalities of any of them. All were nasty.
It would perhaps have been possible to make something of the character of Diana Broughton, though I think she was still alive at the time the film was being made, and it might have been difficult to do so. A sympathetic central character would have made all the difference.
As it was, one finished the film thinking "Thank God that's over".
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