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Even their shocking class differences are an abstraction; with no tangible society in sight, it's hard to care what society might make of their affair.
This might be pleasant to watch, in a floaty '70s-movie kind of way, if not for the film's groaning 168-minute length and abrupt thudder of an ending.
Once banned for its frank depiction of sexuality and sensuality, "Lady Chatterley" is, at heart, about class constrictions and the often suffocating bonds of motherly and spousal love. Lawrence's meditative and passionate novel deals with the benumbed and deracinated England after World War I and the emergence of "a new man" (personified by Lady Chatterley's lover, the gamekeeper Oliver Mellors) who not only transcends class, but embodies both the masculine and feminine ideals — someone who is both rough and tender.
Lawrence's "Lady Chatterley's Lover" only for the sexy parts may be surprised to realize there is a lot more to the novel.
When it works — as it does here, beautifully — this highly stylized approach to adaptation appeals to audiences who love drama and the written word.
The literary flavor of the book is preserved, yet the evening itself is thrillingly theatrical. Lawrence's novel and this staging can be, let's be frank.
While it's a refreshing take on the story and gives a voice to character not often heard from, the major problem is the running time.
Part of the controversy surrounding Lawrence's was the great detail with which he described the sexual encounters between Lady Chatterley and Mellors.
Lady Chatterley, whose husband was paralyzed in a war, is faced with the prospect of living the rest of life completely unfulfilled sexually, emotionally and maternally. Lawrence's novels, from which the movie was adapted, addressed some very touchy subjects of the 1920's English culture: sexuality and the dichotomy of the social classes.
She then meets Mellors, the family gameskeeper, with whom she begins an affair. The movie, filmed for TV in four segments, does an excellent job of portraying the lives of Lawrence's characters and the lifestyles and fashion of that era.
He even pushes his body with hopes of producing an heir.
You really do feel sorry for him and it's actually Constance, who comes across as the selfish wife who lacks any sort of feeling for his own trauma.
The raciest moment comes when Constance Chatterley (Holliday Grainger) dashes to Oliver Mellors' (Richard Madden) cottage in the woods in the middle of a thunder storm for an impromptu tryst.