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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (2003 TV Movie)
19 October 2003
I was weary to watch this film as I am a huge fan of the RLS novella "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." In my opinion, there have only been two actors to properly play the character(s): John Malkovich in "Mary Reilly" and Fredric March in "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." I was weary to watch this because I saw a TV movie made about 13 years ago that starred Michael Caine. It was probably the worst intrepretation of Henry and Edward that has ever been presented. Then I heard of a new version starring the drunk swindler of the "Mummy" movies. I was scared to death. Having just watched it last night, I am still trying to find a way that any Jekyll & Hyde film in the future can outdo this one. John Hannah was phenomonal. He truly makes that viewer pity and hate his Jekyll. That's right, his JEKYLL. The film makes sure that the viewers are left no easy questions to answer. While I still think that "Mary Reilly" is the best Jekyll & Hyde film to date, this version makes more complex decisions, like having no physical distinction between the two characters. It's all a state of mind. There is no Edward Hyde, just Henry Jekyll left with no inhibitions and a twist of wickedness. All of the supporting characters, especially Mabel and Sir Danvers, are beyond exceptional. The way they portray events from the novel, such as the beating of the girl, the death of a main character, Jekyll's seclusion, Hyde's nature, are done differently from the novel but effectively none the less. A few things added, most of all the relationship between Jekyll and Mabel, bring the film to a level of brilliance that other past adaptations have failed to reach. I encourage everyone to see this film as soon as possible. Now I just have to wait for the DVD.
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