Newest Review: ... mother and child and the bond between them. The scenery is beautiful and atmospheric, all the foggy and dark elements of traditional horro... more
Harry Potter, and the horribly typecast school of acting
The Woman in Black (DVD)
Member Name: giksy21
The Woman in Black (DVD)
Advantages: atmospheric, and the odd scare
Disadvantages: Radcliff Harry potter mask yet again
Daniel Radcliff is one of the luckiest young people on the planet. Plucked out of his life as a normal child, he was thrust upon us as the young harry potter. Several years, and films later, that ship has now sailed for poor Daniel, leaving him naked on stage playing with horses, and more recently, being Harry Potter with a different name in The woman in black.
Now, perhaps I am being unfair. Poor Daniel is only continuing on in the way he was taught to act. He continues to do the same things, using the same actions, and mannerisms that were so succesful last time out. However no-one has mentioned to Mr Radcliff that there is more out there in the big bad world than Harry Potter. It seems that we are destined to see a number of wooden performances from him, as he struggles to come to grips with what is known in the trade as character acting.
In brief, with no spoilers, the woman in black centres around Radcliffs character Arthur Kipps. Kipps lost his wife to childbirth, and has since struggle in his job as a lawyer to provide for his son, who survived the ordeal. In a kind of "last chance" sort of way, his boss sends him to a remote town to tie up the loose ends, after a woman dies. Her paperwork has been poorly looked after, and it is up to kipps to sort it out, aso the womans estate may be apportioned as it should be.
It soon becomes apparent that all is not what it seems in the town, and especially in the house when all manner of mysterious and eerie goings on occur, leaving poor old mister kipps in a right mess. He gradually learnds more of what took place here, and is left to pick up the pieces, and ultimately save the town.
The film was adapted from the 1983 gothic novel of the same name, written by Susan Hill. It was since made into a tv film, again of the same name in which, by sheer coincidence Harry potters on screen father, played the role of Kipps, since undertaken by his estranged on-screen son. The storyline is sound, and seems to be typical gothic horror fare. It has a decent background to it, and plenty of scope for scares along the way. Indeed, this translates in the modern version, and what we have is a none to shabby horror flick, which will make you jump if you let it. However, I personally found it hard to get that involved, due to the main character being so woodenly acted by radcliff.
A more competent actor, could have turned this round and you would have had a decent little film here, but as it is it blended into mediocrity at best. Other actors in the film are competent, and it seems to me that what has happened is they took a bit of a gamble on the lead, and he duly fell at the first hurdle. Perhaps its time that Mr Radcliff either puts Mr potter to rest, or realises that the only other option is to lay his career to rest instead.
The film came as a huge dissappointment to me, as I really was a big potter fan. He was so suited to those roles, and in fairness to him, his fortune is already made. That said, he has the potential to be a household name for many a year to come if he can simply shrug the invisibilty cloak that Potter as shrouded him in.
In conclusion. The film is OK. The majority of the actors ar OK. The story is strong, and the atmosphere that the film makers managed to get is good. The one major let down, is the fact that you cannot create any empathy, or reaction to the lead character. That in itself is usually suicide for any film. The film is typically bleak, with little or no happiness throughout its entirity, which gives you the strange feeling that you have certainly enjoyed some bits of the film, but you don't really know why.
Overall, I would still say its worth a watch, but I would not be expecting miracles. The odd hair will definately stand on the back of your neck, and all credit to the effects team for that, but it will not live long in the memory.
CastDaniel Radcliffe as Arthur Kipps, a young lawyer
Ciarán Hinds as Sam Daily, a local landowner
Janet McTeer as Elisabeth Daily, Daily's wife
Liz White as Jennet Humfrye, The Woman in Black
Roger Allam as Mr. Bentley, senior partner of Arthur's firm
Tim McMullen as Jerome, the local solicitor
Jessica Raine as Joseph's Nanny
Daniel Cerqueira as Keckwick, the carriage driver
Shaun Dooley as Fisher, village innkeeper
Mary Stockley as Mrs Fisher
Molly Harmon, Emma Shorey, and Ellisa Walker-Reid as the Fisher Daughters
David Burke as PC Collins, village constable
Sophie Stuckey as Stella Kipps, Arthur's wife
Misha Handley as Joseph Kipps, Arthur's son
Aoife Doherty as Lucy Jerome, Jerome's daughter
Victor McGuire as Gerald Hardy, a villager
Alexia Osborne as Victoria Hardy, Hardy's daughter
Alisa Khazanova as Alice Drablow
Ashley Foster as Nathaniel Drablow, The Woman in Black's son
Sidney Johnston as Nicholas Daily, Daily's son
Summary: Ok. Not great, but OK