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Mary Reilly

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 104 mins . M15+ . PAL


The story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is probably known to everyone. If you've seen the Looney Tunes cartoons you've experienced a satirical look at how a disturbed doctor brings out the real nature within his soul in the form of Mr Hyde. Stephen Frears latest attempt concentrates on Dr Jekylls housemaid, Mary Reilly.

It is England, 19th Century and Dr Henry Jekyll (John Malkovich) is busy working late nights on his experiments in his dungeon while the house above is looked after for him by the likes of housemaid Mary Reilly (Julia Roberts). Marys vulnerability and innocence is her undoing as Jekyll shows more interest in her than the others.

This is the way things are until Dr Jekyll makes note to his servants that a man named Mr Hyde (John Malkovich) will be staying at the house who shall have complete run of the house as he himself does. It is this introduction that brings out even more vulnerability in Mary as the forthcoming Mr Hyde drags her into a world of abuse and violence that only she as a child ever experienced.


Presented in a matted 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer, this dark and gloomy movie easily portrays the cold, foggy winter streets of 19th century England. Each scene is devoid of life as the eerie darkness consumes all in it's path, utilising moderately deep blacks with a combination of a subdued color palette.

In the very few daylight scenes we are treated to the usual high standard Columbia transfer featuring the excellent sharpness and intricate detail. Color saturation in these shots are dominated by blood red, literally, as our leads take to the streets.

Don't look for much more in the video as it's not too note-worthy.


Apart from a mediocre Irish accent on Julas behalf, this soundtrack suffers from the dreaded lacklustre dialogue levels. It's not the soundtrack itself but Julias softly spoken voice that makes it hard to hear at times.

The score provided by George Fenton suitably compliments the tone of the movie and provides enough dynamics to emphasise the horror. Ambience is duly depicted in the street scenes where Mary walks alone amongst the poverty and filth all around her.

It is not an entirely entertaining soundtrack but is well balanced across the entire movie.


As well as your theatrical trailer and talent profiles, we are presented with a short behind the scenes featurette containing interviews with John and Julia along with director Stephen Frears.

As for the region 1 disc, there isn't one. :)


The movie is fails to keep your attention and at times loses itself and the viewer as a consequence. I couldn't help but feeling that it needed that magical Tim Burton touch to take it to another level. Then again he would have defined his own level and had nothing to do with this attempt.

Stay clear of this one unless you were one of the few that enjoyed it theatrically.

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