It was in 1999, I believe that I had the first look of Lolita!
I had heard the name before, but it was in 99 that I watched on a Monday night, the 1997 movie and I got surprised at the content of the movie for many reasons, that I shall present later.
After watching this movie, that my mother watched with me, she got terrified, and I got curious. I was 13 by the time, and my mother thought it was too heavy.
No dvd era and the local blockbuster didn’t have this movie on VHS, so I couldn’t watch again, and maybe the TV wouldn’t exhibit it so soon, so I got the book on a promotion that had been released about classics.
I remember it wasn’t easy for my mom to buy this promotion because she remembered well the movie, but I didnt think the book would be this explicit as the 97 version was, so after begging a lot, my mom gave to me because we are bookworms, and she felt bad on denying me a book.
That book became one of my favorites, and I still have a copy, but in PDF now, as well as two copies of this movie, the first one from 1962 and the 1997, that my mom still doesn’t like.
I got the first version on DVD in 2005, but later I changed with a local blockbuster for the VHS of the second version, and I believe, 2 years ago, I got the 1962 version again and I ended up watching more than the second version because I started getting addicted to the Old Hollywood.
Those who watched both versions know clearly the differences.
The 1962 version is lighter due to the time, obviously they knew Lolita was a strong book already, although Nabokov wouldn’t be this explicit, and they made this version hiding and changing few things.
Sue Lyon versus Dominique Swain: Well…both of them were great as Lolita, but I think Dominique played Lolita better because she had that innocent look but also that provocative side, and she really gave life to Lolita in a way that was beyond the original one from the book was.
Jeremy irons versus James Manson: God… I adore Jeremy Irons, but how I hated his Humbert on Lolita! I am not talking about his talent, he played so well the role that I felt disgusted, this is what I mean, the nature of Humbert. Obviously in 1962, they wouldn’t put James Manson to act that way, mainly because both girls were still underage, Dominique Swain was 17 years old and Sue Lyon was 16 when they made Lolita, and some scenes were really too heavy. But I saw more realism on Irons than on Manson, clearly because of the difference of the years the movies were made.
Shelley Winters versus Melanie Griffth: Both were perfect. Shelley was really funny as Charlotte Haze, she was splendid, like she was meant to be and has always been on every movie she was part of. Melanie was also perfect as Charlotte, I love Melanie’s voice, and loved her on Lolita because she looked more like the Charlotte from the book related to Lolita. They explored more how mother felt about the daughter on the second version, and the part where Charlotte finds out about Humbert was more dramatic, if I can put this way, on the second version
Of course the 1997 had a polemic with the sex scenes!
We can see, at least twice, strong scenes on this movie: one in a motel, during a rocking chair scene that, personally, disturbed me, and the other one, almost by the end of the movie, in the bed, that was also more disturbing because money was involved.
This is what was written about the 1997 version, taken from the Wikipedia: “Lolita is not a sex film; it’s about characters, relationships, and the consequences of imprudent actions. And those who seek to brand the picture as immoral have missed the point. Both Humbert and Lolita are eventually destroyed—what could be more moral? The only real controversy I can see surrounding this film is why there was ever a controversy in the first place.”
But still, it received many positive critics, because the movie is really amazing and we can see more of Humbert on the second version, than in the first one, and in my opinion, the 1997 version was a lot better, shocking in some aspects, but the best version.
I started wondering how it would be if they made a new version, who they would cast? How they would present Humbert? would it be a better version than the last one?
When people ask about my favorite books, I name two of them that I am really addicted to: Diary of a Wimpy kid (Yes), and Lolita, and when I talk about Lolita, I always recommend people to watch both movies.
Once I was asked which version I liked the most and I said it was the second one, but I said that I think the person should watch both movies, instead picking only one, so they could see the difference between these 2 movies, about the story and the characters as well.
I am not exactly the kind of person who can write a review for a movie, I am mostly expressing my opinion about it, it may not be a great one, but learning about blogging everyday.