Mr Beresford has taken what I consider to be his usual film making approach to this poorly adapted screenplay from an excellent and workable novel. Mr Johnson is NOT a comedy, neither does it rely upon comedic aspects in its story line. Mr Johnson is a drama, sadly robbed of its drivers.
The great problem with this film is the miscasting of two leading men, and the inability of the director to accurately shape the story, and to direct the individual performances. the character of Mr Johnson, is lacking in complexity and dimension, and Mr Brosnan's work is rather like a mimicry of every British colonial character ever sent up by any music hall comic or TV sketch comedy ever produced.
The basic story is heartrendingly powerful, and the false world of Mr Johnson, fueled by his childlike desire to fulfill its requirements, should be the powerhouse of the whole undercurrent of the madhouse of British Imperialism, and the blind faith of those who attempted to live up to the impossible standards of its, so called, civilization.
The novel hits the gong, but this screenplay, the miscasting, the absence of storytelling and of basic theatrical direction, robs Mr Johnson of its magic.
Action / Drama
Action / Drama
In 1923 British Colonial Nigeria, Mister Johnson is an oddity, an educated black man who doesn't really fit in with the natives, nor the British. He works for the local British magistrate, and considers himself English, though he has never been to England. He is always scheming, trying to get ahead, which lands him in a lot of hot water.
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December 01, 2015 at 03:41 PM