Search - Basil on DVD

Actors: Christian Slater, Jared Leto, Stephanie Bagshaw, Crispin Bonham-Carter, Jenny Downham
Director: Radha Bharadwaj
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Animation
R     2003     1hr 53min

Big-screen favorites Christian Slater, Jared Leto, and Claire Forlani are the hot stars in this powerful story of passion, betrayal, and revenge! Basil is a sheltered young Englishman willing to risk his fortune and place ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Christian Slater, Jared Leto, Stephanie Bagshaw, Crispin Bonham-Carter, Jenny Downham
Director: Radha Bharadwaj
Creators: Christian Slater, Radha Bharadwaj, Donald Kushner, Ferne Cassel, Fuminori Hayashida, Gregory Cascante, Wilkie Collins
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Animation
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance, Animation
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 03/04/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/1998
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1998
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 53min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

I Beg to Differ
L. Jerome | Silver Spring, Maryland USA | 04/03/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I thought BASIL was an intriguing film - a classical tale of revenge gone wrong. I couldn't figure out why it was rated R though, since there are no sex scenes, and less violence than what is found in most contemporary films.I didn't find it dull at all, so I guess I will be one of the few people who thoroughly enjoyed this film. Christian Slater did a fine job - as usual, and I found the ending to be sweet. Had the lead character found someone to love, I would have given the movie 5 stars."
So-so Victorian Costume Drama Based on Wilkie Collins
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 09/25/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Based on Wilkie Collins' 1852 novel, "Basil" stars Jared Leto as the hero of the title. Basil, son of rich and aristcratic father Derek Jacobi, falls in love with beautiful but mystrious girl Julia (Claire Forlani). The problem is, Basil knew that his stern father would never acknowledge the daughter of merchant as his future bride, so in spite of his better judgment and advice from his friend Manion (Christian Slater), he continues his relations a secret until terrible truth is found out.As is with many Collins' novels, the story is melodramatic and full of surprises, but the film seems to be too full of them. Every five minute you see something happen, which is certainly enjoyable. However, as far as emotional power goes, "Basil" is far from convincing. When the film should be sensual, it fails to be so, leaping to the next scene without raising the tension that should have come from, say, the clandestine meetings between Basil and Julia. There is no thrilling descriptions of ever-changing love and distrust found in works like "Wings of the Dove." The same can be said about the frail father-son relation in Basil's family, which should have been more explored.My material says the writer/director Radha Bharadwaj (known for Madeleine Stowe film "Closet Land") was very impressed with the original book when she was 12 years old. Born and raised in India, the director clearly is conscious of social class and gender, so the book's thriller part is reduced to certain degree, and instead the contrast between men and women, or traditional aristocracy and new middle-class is stressed. Her decision is understandable, but I don't know if it was a good idea to adapt the novel that way. And you should know that "Basil" is usually considered as one of Wilkie's juvenile works (only his second novel published during his lifetime) His major works are still "The Moonstone" or "The Woman in White" both of which are filmed in 1990s for British TV. So why "Basil"? That part remains vague after watching the film.The best thing in the film is no doubt Claire Forlani. But her fans should be told beforehand that though Ms. Forlani in blue costume (standing besides beautiful birds) is gorgeous and exquisite, her charms do not materialize to the full because of too fast speed of story. Chrstian Slater (who also co-produced) and Jared Leto are not so bad, handsome as ever, but it is painfully obvious that they are Americans.One final word for Collins fans. Don't get angry. The film takes GREAT liberty when it shows Clara not as Basil's sister; when Margaret Sherwin is changed to Julia Sherwin (does this mean that 'Margaret' is no longer a popular name?); and when Manion walks outside without a hat on his head even though you know that no confidential clerk of respectable merchant does that.As Victorian constume drama "Basil" is just a so-so film. You don't have to hurry to watch it.Basil's elder brother Ralph is played by Crispin Bonham Carter, cousin of Helena."
Based on Wilkie Collins Book
Robert Amsel | Steelton, PA USA | 11/19/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Anyone who likes Wilkie Collins (author of "The Moonstone" and "The Woman in White" and a friend to Dickens) knows that he is in store for a Victorian melodrama mystery with all the trimmings. This film definitely had the trimmings -- lush sets and gorgeous scenery, plus two notable acting performances from Christian Slater and Derek Jacobi. However, the writer-director falls down in several areas. First of all the script has a number of 20th Century anachronisms/cliches, i.e., "It makes me feel cheap." The leading man, Jared Leto, is attractive but emotionally lackluster, almost in a trancelike state -- a real problem since he appears in most scenes. Nor is there much chemistry between him and anyone else. Claire Forlani as his love interest is pretty emotionally dead herself, and I strongly suspect the fault is not altogether hers, but the writer-director's. The editing could be sharper, the pacing tighter -- in short, with a few cast changes, a different director, and a few rewrites, this movie might have delivered more of its many promises."
A bit choppy, but good job by Forlani
L. Jerome | 04/10/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Claire Forlani is starting to get the recognition she deserves, she was sooo good in Meet Joe Black. She and Leto have really good chemistry and some sexy scenes. If you like Forlani, Slater, or Jared Leto, watch this movie."