At face value, it may seem quite the disappointment that one of the most controversially erotic novels of all-time was turned into a quite tame, almost underwhelming film such as this, but at the same time, once one looks deeper into the dragon, one can surely see how beautifully this film is arranged. With Lawrence's reputation, you may think it, but indeed there is no need for über-eroticism for the film to be sexy - and the film certainly is that.
Marina Hands, in the title role, may very well be pure sex, even during her most timid moments, and Jean-Louis Coullo'ch as her lover may very well be a brute of a man, yet he too exudes a soft passionate brusqueness. Her near wanton behavior, his surprising delicacy come together in an explosive consumation of choked-back emotions and long-dormant desires. Like Adam and Eve, they frolic naked in the rain, hiding away in their own private Eden, temporarily at least, unaware of the bitter world awaiting them just beyond the trees.
Without any of the cliche's of many another Chatterley rendition, this latest adaptation (actually taken from Lawrence's penultimate draft of his eventual novel), even though it may leave quite a bit of the book on the proverbial cutting room floor, is easily the most living breathing exploration of these two extremely lonely lost souls ever put on film. A supposedly unfilmable novel, yet pulled off in the most charming manner possible. Almost Bressonian in his style, Pascale Ferran gives us a quiet - sometimes wordless - interpretation of Lawrence's great unwashed incendiary masterpiece, without pretension, without assumption, without charade. Simply, plainly, sublimely. Here it is. [08/05/07]