Watch Restoration

"An ordinary man, an irresistible offer. In a world of seduction and power, temptation has its price."
  • R
  • 1996
  • 1 hr 57 min
  • 6.6  (9,874)
  • 66

Restoration is a film set in 17th century England amidst the reign of King Charles II, a time of political, social and scientific flux. The film tracks the life of an ambitious young man named Robert Merivel (played by Robert Downey Jr.), a medical student who becomes a physician to King Charles II (played by Sam Neill). Merivel is a hedonistic and frivolous character who initially uses his position to indulge in excesses and women of his choice. However, over time, he becomes disillusioned with his hollow existence, and when he is banished from Court by the King for an indiscretion, he accepts an offer to marry a wealthy mistress. However, he finds the relationship unsatisfying and feels stifled.

The plot thickens when Merivel is later confronted with an offer from the King to work as a physician in a mental hospital. Although he initially rejects the offer, he later meets one of the patients, a beautiful and mysterious woman named Katherine (played by Meg Ryan), and begins to fall for her. The relationship between the two becomes complicated as they navigate their feelings while making sense of the turbulent political climate around them.

The film is a fascinating exploration of the duality of human nature, highlighting the contrast between one's aspirations and one's imperfections. The character of Merivel is emblematic of the struggle between these two forces, as he tries to find a purpose beyond his hedonistic impulses, while also dealing with the political scheming of the royal family.

The film is quite visually stunning, with gorgeous period costumes and sets, exquisite landscapes and travelogue-like vistas of country life in England. The scenes set in the mental hospital are particularly immersive and poignant, with the filmmakers creating a haunting, almost dreamlike atmosphere. The musical score adds to the overall mood of the film, with the mix of period-appropriate tracks and whimsical sound effects perfectly complementing the visuals.

The performances by the actors are exceptional, with Robert Downey Jr. giving a nuanced portrayal of Merivel, capturing the complexities of the character's emotional journey. Sam Neill brings a quiet and dignified presence to his role as King Charles II, while David Thewlis is unforgettable in his role as John Pearson, Merivel's loyal friend and confidant.

Restoration is ultimately a tale of redemption, tracing the journey of a man who discovers his true self in the midst of upheaval and turmoil. The film speaks to themes of ambition, regret, and the search for personal fulfillment that are timeless and universal. It is a reflective and thought-provoking work, beautifully crafted and expertly executed, that will leave viewers with a sense of empathy and compassion for the characters and their struggles.

Restoration is a 1996 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 57 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6 and a MetaScore of 66.

Where to Watch Restoration
Restoration is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Restoration for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 57 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (9,874)
  • Metascore