“ Genre: Drama (Gay & Lesbian) / Theatrical Release: 2008 / Suitable for 12 years and over / Actors: Anna Madeley, Zoe Tapper, Amanda Plummer ... / DVD released 2008-12-29 at Contender Entertainment Group / Features of the DVD: PAL „
This film was sent to me free when I purchased 'Tipping the Velvet' and 'Fingersmith' on Amazon, and the fact that it was being given away made me very suspicious of it. However, when I finally got around to reading it, I was pleasently suprised by how good it was. Although it is not in the league of the 'Tipping the Velvet' and 'Fingersmith', it is certainly worth watching.
Margaret Prior is a young woman who is drifting through life after the death of her father leaves her feeling without a purpose. To fill her time, she does charity work as a visiter at Moorgate women's prision, when she quickly becomes obsessed with one of the prisoners, Selina Dawes. Selina is rumoured to be a medium, and the other prisoners are afraid of her strange powers, while to the authorities she is a dangerous murderess who killed her previous benefactor after conning her into believing in her abilities. Discovering a passion for female love along with her increasing obsession with Selina, Margaret becomes determined to help Selina escape from prison, to lead a new life with her.
The historical accuracy of this film is it's most alluring quality: is is well researched and well produced, offering an intriguing interpretation of women's freedoms and restraints during the period, and a riviting exploration of the seamier side of Victorian london. At times the pace is slow, but it never becomes dull, and the suspense is handled well, drawing the audience deeper and deeper into the mysteries surrounding Selina exactly as Margaret herself is drawn in. The end of the film moves very quickly, and as many new threads are rapidly introduced and tangled, it becomes almost confusing, until finally everything is explained in the final, heart-breaking moments of the film. Although not as moving as 'Fingersmith', it is certainly darker, and more serious, and ultimately a more intriguing story.
I've read all Sarah Waters books and must say I'm bit disappointed with this movie. Probably if someone have never heard about Affinity, the book, would have no idea what the movie is about. Characters differ from this described in book. Plot is changed (Theophilius does not apper in novel). BBC could have put more effort in creating this movie.
This film was aired on the BBC over Christmas and is the third instalment from Sarah Waters who wrote Tipping the velvet and the Fingersmith which were also adapted by the BBC. Affinity though takes on a darker tone compared to the other two stories mentioned.
It is set in 1874 and tells the story of Margaret Prior (Anne Madeley) a lady who lives a well to do lifestyle and has become quite bored with her daily existence. She is mourning the loss of her father and in order to take her mind off her grief she decides to do some good by offering her services as a visitor to ladies at the Millbank prison. It's there that she meets Selina played Zoe tapper and Margaret can't help but become intrigued by Selina and her story. The two leading ladies become closer until eventually the truth comes out.
I really enjoyed the previous stories by Sarah Waters but I have to say that this film was just a bit long and drawn out without many moments between the two or on screen chemistry. However as the meetings between the characters took place in a prison there was only so much they could say or do but I still felt as though it was lacking a certain something. The acting was brilliant though and the story was very good. I did find the ending a little depressing though and it did surprise me as I had expected something similar to the ending in the Fingersmith.
It's definitely well worth watching especially if you enjoy a mystery with a sinister air about it.
Also if you know what Sarah Waters looks like then keep an eye out as she has a small cameo.