Lady Chatterley

Lady Chatterley

Pascale Ferran :: France :: 2005 :: 2h38

For those who do not know DH Lawrence’s famously erotic story, we follow the emotional turmoil of a young, upper-class woman at the Chatterley mansion in the English countryside. It is the time of industrialisation, and society is split radically into two groups. Lady Chatterley’s husband is unfortunately a war cripple, and their dutiful, uneventful life together leads her into the arms of the solitary (lower-class) gamekeeper. As their love develops, she comes to a full bloom.

In essence, the movie presents us a tale of desire and love. The title’s change in emphasis from the Lover to Lady Chatterley herself is a remarkable one. The eroticism and the class struggle are issues seen from a completely different perspective today than at the time of writing by Lawrence. The talented director, Ms Ferran, slows us down from our normal lives in the first half to bring you down to the speed of life at the mansion. Somewhat setting the issues which were so at the heart of DH Lawrence to a backdrop, the movie concentrates on Lady Chatterley herself, dissecting her desire and the birth of Love.

With the poetic beauty of the gardens, the countryside and the seasons, the couple’s love affair becomes that natural step in a person’s life. The love which flows here comes from a desire born from deep within the heroine, not so much a desire to be loved but more a desire to have a child mixed with a physical desire of the other. This sexual origin develops romantically into the maturing love which binds people for life. A curious change of emphasis for lovers of DH Lawrence, and a brilliantly worked out approach for lovers of cinema today.

Before going in to watch this magnificent movie, bare in mind that it progresses slowly, the value of which you will come to understand as you get through the movie. It also implies that it risks to bore the younger members of the audience who will ask themselves why it took two and a half hours to show a woman falling in love. If you think you can handle it, do not hesitate to go and watch it, you will be well rewarded.

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