Sunday, 27 May 2012


Hysteria (2011)

Hysteria is a movie about the invention of..ahem ahem ..the Vibrator. That’s a very bold topic to make a period movie on, but you can’t change the facts. The movie is directed by Tanya Wexler and stars Hugh Dancy, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jonathan Pryce, Rupert Everett and Felicity Jones, among others.

Hugh Dancy as Mortimer Granville,
Maggie Gyllenhaal as
Charlotte Dalrymple,
So, this movie is about a young doctor, Mortimer Granville who is qualified and sympathetic to his patients yet not able to carve a niche for him. Mortimer (played by Hugh Dancy) lives with Edmund St. John-Smythe (played by Rupert Everett) as latter’s family support for him. Edmund is shown to be an inventor of some sorts, playing with gadgets and electricity generators.

The movie starts with ladies telling about their “problems” to Doctor Dalrymple, which he defines as HYSTERIA. Dr. Dalrymple (played by Jonathan Pryce) runs an elite clinic which deals with the ladies problems. What exactly he does to cure his patients, he gives them some “pelvic massage” (which until recently I didn’t know is suppose to be a doctor’s job). He is successful and is the father of two daughters, Charlotte Dalrymple (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and Emily Dalrymple (Felicity Jones). While Charlotte is outgoing and all about the reform in women’s life, Emily is everything a good, decent and intelligent British girl ought to be.
Felicity Jones as Emily Dalrymple and Jonathan Pryce as Dr. Dalrymple,
Young Dr. Mortimer is out work, despite of trying at a number of clinics so one day he goes to Dr. Dalrymple’s clinic to work as an assistant. He soon masters the art of “pelvic massage” and clients start to pour in at the clinic. While things are going well at Dr. Dalrymple’s, his elder daughter, Charlotte is fighting for feminine causes and resettlement, and turns short of money. Dr. Dalrymple is shown to be quite against her inferior activities, on the other hand, he thinks very well of his younger daughter, Emily, even Mortimer starts paying a great deal of attention to her.

Busy schedules and burst of clients leaves Mortimer with a stiff hand and as a consequence, clients aren’t satisfied anymore. Dalrymple throws him out on account of an unsatisfied client and now again, Mortimer gets out of work.  Then what happens is the main plot of the movie and I am not going to spoil it for you. Though there are some things I would pen down here.

Rupert Everett as
Edmund St. John-Smythe,
Hysteria works well as a comedy, it’s not too loud, though exaggerated at some places. The opening scene itself sets the tone of the coming one and a half hour of comedy and the theme of the movie. About casting I would like to express my express disappointment, Maggie Gyllenhaal as Charlotte Dalrymple, not happening! She might as well have been Mrs. Dalrymple, I mean, look at her, no offence but she looks really mature and far too old to act as Hugh Dancy’s love interest. On the other hand, Felicity Jones, who looks like she isn’t going to shed her baby suit for years to come, looks like her daughter, not sister.  Hugh Dancy has done a good work, helpless and kind doctor, who finally falls for aunt Charlotte Dalrymple. Also, Maggie Gyllenhaal just, sort of spoils the whole period movie grace of the movie; you can be a social worker without being barbaric. Felicity Jones, didn’t have much to do or act, still she was nice in her tamed role.

Sheridan Smith as Molly the 'Lolly',
Molly the Lolly, was funny and has done her part well but then you have Mrs. Castellari, simply over acted the whole thing, and it was not funny. Another thing, I couldn’t understand why did the threesome, Mortimer, Dalrymple and Edmund put on their goggles before treating Mrs. Castellari with the thing, as if something was about to get spilled.

The movie has more highs than lows and can make a good watch for you and you won’t need to carry your brain. 

1 comment:

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