The Crimson Petal and the White – part one (spoiler free)

7 April 2011

I wasn’t sure about reviewing The Crimson Petal and the White as, and I am going to say this as kindly as I can, Gillian Anderson fans can sometimes be a bit INTENSE. They’re not as madly creepy as some David Duchovny fans, but even so. Ask my friend Lucy to tell you what happened when I made a joke on Live Journal about The Red Shoe Diaries. Go on, I dare you.

Anyway, I’m here now and it’s all okay because Gillian Anderson was superb in this so they haven’t got anything to have a go at me about. Other than the previous paragraph of course, but I minced my words a bit there in order to prevent offence so hopefully it will be okay and they’ll just all roll their eyes and say ‘Oh yes, THOSE Gillian Anderson fans are AWFUL and so embarrassing for the rest of us.’

I’ll be honest – I didn’t actually like tonight’s episode of The Crimson Petal and The White at first but then gradually it began to grow on me until I found myself mesmerised and even slightly awe struck when the final credits rolled to the sound of silence and bird song. A nice touch that.

Some of you may recall that I wasn’t sure about the casting of Chris O’Dowd as Rackham but he was actually really good. He looks a bit like my brother in law, which is slightly off putting but I got past that in the end. I really liked Romola Garai’s Sugar as well – there’s something really Pre-Raphaelite about the copper of her hair, her burning dark eyes and almost corpse like tint of her cheek. I can really imagine Rossetti (especially as played by Aidan Turner!) really falling for her.

The muddy, miserable, gas lit world of Victorian London with its soundtrack of consumptive coughs, gin soaked ramblings and baby cries is a familiar one to modern viewers thanks to an endless diet of Dickens and Jack the Ripper and there were no surprises here, other than a bit of a From Hell aesthetic to the scenes of the swirling, dark streets as Sugar leads an intoxicated in more ways than one Rackham to Mrs Castaway’s amazing brothel, which I’d rather like to live in myself.

In summary, it’s pretty good but if you are insanely keen on the book (I like it but I’m not precious about it) you will probably find a lot to complain about. Those of a sensitive nature (and I speak as one who checks Christian film review sites for terrifyingly exact details of potential gore and upset) may want to know that there is some sex (it’s about prostitution) but it’s not exactly the romp fest that some are claiming it to be. This may be a disappointment to any teenage boy viewers out there but ah well, they’ll live – The Only Way Is Essex was on tonight too and they had proper snogging and everything going on!

Did you see it? What did you think?


Edit: Apologies if this post is all over the proverbial shop but I am not feeling myself right now. Some vile little scrote thought it would be hilarious to crash into our car while our two children were in the back and then speed off (laughing his head off!) undertaking people and driving on the pavement in his haste to get out of exchanging names and numbers like a civilized person would do. Never mind, my husband and an independent witness (who saw the crash and then got the fright of her life when he undertook her and mounted the pavement next to her to get past! What an utter idiot!) got hold of his registration number so he had the pleasure of a visit from the police this evening. I would have really LOVED to see his face when he opened the door to see them there.

Anyway, we’re still in shock. I was in a total state after it happened and Dave has to go to see our doctor tomorrow as he hurt his neck and is having headaches now. How can people be so stupid and awful?!

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