25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Interesting approach to the biopic.,
This review is from: The Music Lovers  [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Ken Russell continues the work evident in early work based around such composers as Elgar- and that he would continue with 1974's Mahler. Here he applies his own philopshies and wonderful style towards the life of Tchaikovsky- working again with Melvyn Bragg and making a film far more interesting than such films on composers as Immortal Beloved, Amadeus and the abysmal Shine. People get really up in arms if people don't stick to the facts with biopics- but what are the facts here? - people will always have alternate recollections of the same events (see Reds) and what is wrong with interpreting/re-reading a life symbolically (there should be a tragedy somewhere, where we see Beethoven pretend to listen to his own works being performed and cannot- while this could be seen as a statement of fact, it could also be seen that someone who has created something cannot experience it for themselves, which is an ironic symbol- here speculation is applied- of course this is not a documentary!)- Andre Previn's music is excellent, and the lead performances are very good- particularly Glenda Jackson- who approaches the role with great erotic abandon. Look at this film, it's no masterpiece like Women in Love or The Devils, but it is far greater than touchy critics like Roger Ebert or whoever writes Halliwell's Film Guide suggest. At worst, it is hugely ambitious- not something that can be applied to contemporary British cinema...