Drama following the adventures of John Wilmot (Johnny Depp), the second Earl of Rochester. Known for his scandalous ways, he lives life in pursuit of vice with little recourse. Married but not satisfied, he has a passionate romance with a young actress, Elizabeth Barry (Samantha Morton), and writes a scurrilous play that lampoons its commissioner, King Charles II (John Malkovich).
Drama following the adventures of John Wilmot (Johnny Depp) the second Earl of Rochester Known for his scandalous ways he lives life in pursuit of vice with little recourse Married but not satisfied he has a passionate romance with a young actress Elizabeth Barry (Samantha Morton) and writes a scurrilous play that lampoons its commissioner King Charles II (John Malkovich)
Average Rating for The Libertine  - 3 out of 5
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The Libertine Kashif Ahmed
"The Libertine" of the title is the Earl of Rochester (Depp): A perverse, innuendo loving, Donatiene De Sade-esque writer, who couldn"t keep his trousers on and banged anything that moved, fortunately for him; Samantha Morton and Rosamund Pike were moving. John Malkovich always seems to gets short changed anytime he plays a king; Malkovich was hardly in "The Messenger" and he"s hardly in "The Libertine" either , you can"t help but feel a little cheated when you"ve got Depp and Malkovich in the same movie, but never really get to see them act together. Scandalous.
In "From Hell", Depp"s Inspector Abberline"s main suspect was a man with syphilis, but now; its Depp"s character whose got it, and so we"re forced to go through the pain and pleasure of watching this man"s fall. But in many ways, that"s the film"s main weakness; the tone of the picture shifts so dramatically from beginning to end, that we never really get into Rochester"s head, and thus he becomes somewhat of a 2-D caricature that"s suddenly thrust into some serious situations (the film would"ve failed completely had it not been for Depp). And though he"s yet to turn in a performance to equal to that given as Hunter S. Thompson in "Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas" Johnny Depp is, without question, one of the finest actors of his generation. "Nick Of Time", "Neverland" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" aside, Johnny Depp"s output over the last 12 years has been second to none; his filmography reads like a master-class in total cinema: from "Edward Scissorhands", "Benny & Joon" to "Ed Wood", "Donnie Brasco" and "The Brave".
Now I"m not usually a fan of English "Restoration era" films, they bore me, but where others have failed "The Libertine" just about succeeds. A bit better than "Quills" this films" production design (along with murky, mood lighting) features some of the most impressive (relatively low budget) realisations of period life since Paul Tickle"s wonderful take on Renaissance Italy in "Christie Malry"s Own Double Entry". "The Libertine", though well shot with some good supporting work by Morton and Pike, is only worth watching for Johnny Depp"s performance.
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