- 1 hr 53 min
Basil is a 1998 British romantic drama film that tells the story of young aristocrat Basil (Jared Leto) who is forced into an arranged marriage with a wealthy heiress. His heart, however, belongs to a lower-class kitchen maid named Julia (Claire Forlani), whom he falls in love with at first sight. Christian Slater plays the role of John Mannion, a mysterious but dashing artist who becomes Basil's confidant and ultimately, his rival for Julia's affections.
The movie is set in Victorian England and the attention to the period detail is remarkable. The lavish costumes, the grand estate, and the beautiful landscapes make the movie a visual feast. The film is also enriched by the music, which is composed by the legendary violinist and composer, Vanessa Mae. The score is warm, emotional and leaves a lasting impact on the viewer.
Basil is a character that is both likable and frustrating. He is a romantic at heart and is willing to do anything for his beloved Julia. Yet at the same time, he is naive and oblivious to the societal constraints of his time. Basil is torn between his sense of duty and his desire for love, thus leading him to make choices that put everyone he loves in danger.
Julia, on the other hand, is a strong, independent woman who knows what she wants. She is a talented cook and is passionate about her job, but her dreams are crushed because of her place in society. Her relationship with Basil is endearing and genuine, and their scenes together are some of the most beautiful and heartfelt moments of the movie.
Christian Slater's character, John Mannion, is the new kid on the block. He is enigmatic and mysterious, with a sharp wit and a bohemian lifestyle. He is the antithesis of Basil, and his arrival in the story creates a ripple effect that changes the course of the plot. Slater is a charismatic actor, and his performance as Mannion is one of his finest.
The supporting cast of Basil is equally impressive. The actors playing the roles of Basil's family members are all well-cast, and each one of them brings something unique to the table. Derek Hutchinson plays the role of Basil's father, Frederick, a stern and unyielding man who is more concerned with the family's reputation than his son's happiness. John Wood plays the role of Basil's uncle, a charming rogue who is always up for a good time.
The direction of the movie, by Radha Bharadwaj, is excellent. The pacing of the movie is slow, but deliberate, allowing the audience to soak in the beauty of the visuals and the richness of the characters. Bharadwaj is a master storyteller, and she brings to life the subtle nuances of the script with great finesse.
In conclusion, Basil is a timeless classic that is a must-see for anyone who loves period dramas. The film is a beautiful tribute to the power of love and the struggles of class and society. The performances by the lead actors, Christian Slater, Jared Leto, and Claire Forlani, are outstanding, and the music and visuals are a feast for the senses. Basil is a movie that will leave a lasting impact on your heart and mind, and it is one of the finest movies of its genre.
Basil is a 1998 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 53 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.9.