I am 1/2 disappointed. Is that possible? I have never seen the 1966–1971 gothic horror soap opera of thesame name, so I had no expectations except for the hope that Burton and Depp were bringing back the old magic (I was keeping my fingers crossed). Well, Tim Burton‘s Dark Shadows has good and bad things, but the magic has NOT fully returned.
Let’s begin with the good. I enjoyed Johnny Depp‘s performance and that was nice because lately he has disappointed me. As Barnabas Collins he brings angst, brooding and subtle humor to his fish out of water vampire–even with the ridiculous make up on (sorry–I am starting to worry about the Kabuki-like makeup fetish). The sets were beautiful–Gothic and grand (and it was not so much of a comedy as the trailers indicated). The effects are well done and the cast is perfect–especially Eva Green as the witch Angelique, who is the right mix of evil and sadly obsessed. And I appreciated the premise, but this leads to the bad…
The narrative is all over the place. This is the classic example of trying to say too much and ending up not saying anything. There was no focus. What story were they trying to tell? I am not sure. I think it was supposed to be about love lost and yet they did not spend enough time on that angle for me to care. I also think they should have spent more time in the past if they wanted any of the key elements to resonate in the future.
Sigh. Oh well. I guess I should be happy that some of the magic was present, but I can not say I enjoyed it as much as I could have. If only Burton had engrossed me with his brilliant storytelling, but instead this scattered story was too broad and as a result, it ended leaving me unsatisfied.
- Dark Shadows (Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer and Eva Green) (sheriffjimlok.wordpress.com)
- Dark Shadows: casting a light on the new Burton & Depp collaboration (theeditgcu.wordpress.com)