Review: The dramatic love of 'Burton and Taylor''....
|Dominic West and Helena Bonham Carter in BBC4's 'Burton and Taylor' (July 2013) - Source: Vogue UK|
Perhaps not many will have the dramatic privileged to know that kind of love that was between 'Burton and Taylor'. It was a case of having too much love between two people....a love that both made and broke them. The knowledge of loving someone so deeply but unable to live with them and hence choosing to be apart....a feeling devoid of words, but yet this BBC4 drama was able to successfully convey. The intensity of feelings and strained tension between the two main characters of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, played by Dominic West and Helena Bonham Carter, was simply striking. The production tells of a time after Burton and Taylor have married twice, divorced and even started new relationships, but crossed paths again through taking the lead roles in a play by Noel Coward called Private Lives. Still addicted to and infuriated by each other through the drug of love....they were hopeless, honest, passionate and impossible in the same space....such was Burton and Taylor at their best as well as worst. It is actually not with bias that I hold high praises for Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West, as not knowing much about the golden Hollywood marriage between Burton and Taylor and only reading a negatively critical review of the drama before watching it, I really did not have great expectations. But within 15 minutes into the drama, I was hooked by their performance and by the end I simply thought they were brilliant....at which point I also started searching on Amazon to find their story to feed my kindle with!
|BBC4 drama 'Burton and Taylor' - Source: RadioTimes.com|
Though Helena looks nothing like the great Elizabeth Taylor, it cannot be denied how she portrayed the accurate dignified presence and captivating charisma that Elizabeth Taylor possesses....so much so that when I looked away from the screen and closed my eyes, I really thought it was Liz rather than Helena. In fairness Helena may look too young for the 50 year old Liz she was meant to be, but her make up and costume were simply impeccable...not to mention the pink handbag she carried in one of the scenes I was drooling over. The choice of portraying Liz in her love of purple seems to have even brought out the fierceness of her character in a no nonsense and commanding kind of way....in other words 'what Elizabeth Taylor wants, Elizabeth Taylor gets'. Perhaps it is part of what makes Elizabeth Taylor great, she needed not to have any pretense or be anything else even under the painful turmoils of life and it really is a testament to her strength as a woman. Her fearlessness and honesty made me want to applaud her for just being her. I will almost go as far to say that there was fire in her eyes when she slapped Burton and demanded an apology, but then there was also tender love in her voice when she asked if Burton had still loved her. As for Dominic West, besides being dashingly good looking, he had a charm about him that bounced off the character of Elizabeth Taylor and brought the complexity between a man's ego and his love alive. Indeed marrying the same woman twice and not being able to stay away from her throughout your life, must be actions that speak loudly of some sort of actual love. Then there is the pain of knowing the imperfections of his love to her and the distant resistance to prevent himself from crumbling under the whole hearted honesty of her love....could life be trickier when you throw in a mixture of fame, ambition and art on top of it all?
Until the next time,
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|Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton - Source: theweek.co.uk|