Top critical review
7 people found this helpful
what a shame
on 26 May 2012
Well acted and directed, a very intriguing, unconventional (if brutal) story, an extremely touching heroine. There is a lot to said for this Series. It is noticeable that several reviews here are by viewers who have read the original book. I wish I had, because this would certainly have helped me in trying to understand more clearly what was going on.
Presumably it is in the name of "realism" that actors mumble their lines. People mutter and mumble in real life -so in order to be "realistic", should actors mumble too ? The trouble is, acting is NOT "real life", it is art. The actors have to provide a bridge between the viewer and the story that is happening in front of them, this is their job. If the audience can't understand what the actors are saying, then the link between viewer and performance breaks down.
These were interesting actors, but I had difficulty understanding at least half of what they were saying, and therefore found it very hard to follow the nuances of the plot. You ask yourself: doesn't it matter to the actors if the words they speak can be understood or not ? Maybe this is not thought important ? Maybe "mumbling" is the fashion, like it was after Marlon B.
It may be that most people are prepared to endure mumbling from actors (here, we aren't given much choice) - but personally I feel I'm MISSING something if I can't get the words. When I'm watching a drama, I want to KNOW what these people are really SAYING. It's no fun to be continually asking, "What did he say??" In my view the words in "The Crimson Petal" count just as much as they do in Shakespeare.
I could say, I'm paying for the WORDS when I buy the DVD - and I would like my money's-worth please ! What a contrast to (for example) the "Mad Men" soap-opera, where every word is spoken with absolute clarity by all the actors. Our friends the Americans are now teaching the English how to enunciate their own language.