- Director: Rupert Everett
- Writer: Rupert Everett
- Producer: Azim Bolkiah; Bettina Brokemper
Many have been led to believe that Oscar Wilde spent his last years penniless, alone and miserable. The epitome of how hard the 'mighty' can fall!
Rupert Everett's film takes a rather different route...that of the martyr! Here, this Oscar Wilde demonstrates how hard the 'mighty' can play, after the fall...preying on and paying for any young man who catches his drugged and drunken roving eye!
By no stretch of the imagination is this a kind portrayal, nor is it a gentrification of the story...and, neither should it be...for Mr Wilde was unreservedly tortured and maimed by the sanctimonious, social elite who turned their collective backs - with remarkable ease - against him, their once-upon-a-time toast, raconteur and shining light...all because of that crazy little thing called love!
But...love can be the cruelest and most foolish of masters...as Mr Wilde found out. The love triangle that existed between himself, Robbie Ross and Alfred 'Bosie' Douglas is testament to his haphazard handling of matters of the heart...Ross was loyal [and unrequited] until his end, Douglas was fuelled by disloyalty and money...Colin Morgan certainly brings out all the unpleasantaries that 'Bosie' was riddled with. As despicable as he was, Wilde loved him...stereotypically, the bad boy gets what he wants and does what he wants! Poor Robbie Ross, gently played by Edwin Thomas - their stories after Oscar's death reveal the true nature of their feelings for their bankrupt former lover. Makes for interesting reading!
Mr Everett was born to play Mr Wilde...and makes for an interesting comparison with Stephen Fry's fey depiction 21 years prior. Certainly, some will be rather shocked at the debauchery...preferring to subscribe to the more taciturn, lonesome demise of this great writer. But, Oscar Wilde was a - well-chronicled - big personality and Rupert Everett generously gives him a certain joie-de-vivre amid the squalor, the addiction, the disease and the foolishness. It's a drunkenly sober tragedy...of a self-made martyr, who defied being silenced. Those who condemned him have been [muted], their memories reduced to mere grubby stains in history.
The Happy Prince is a hard watch...it couldn't be anything else...a man stripped of everything has nothing to lose...this is how that scenario ends! A remarkable film.
The untold story of the last days in the tragic times of Oscar Wilde, a person who observes his own failure with ironic distance and regards the difficulties that beset his life with detachment and humor.