Writer: Stanley Kubrick (Screenplay) William Makepeace Thackeray (Novel)
Starring: Ryan O’Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, Hardy Kruger, Steven Berkoff, Gay Hamilton, Marie Kean
Plot: An Irish rogue wins the heart of a rich widow and assumes her dead husband’s aristocratic position in 18th-century England.
Tagline – After reaching the top, where can you go…except down?
Runtime: 3 Hours 5 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Way too Slow
Story: Barry Lyndon starts as we meet Redman Barry (O’Neal) an Irish man born into wealth who ends up trying to win the heart of his cousin, only to kill a English officer, Barry needs to go into hiding which sees him going out alone and joining the army to try and regain a reputation.
Barry finds himself becoming a spy both for Capt Potzdorf (Kruger) and The Chevalier du Balibari (Magee) playing and watching over both sides before he finally falls in love with Lady Honoria Lyndon (Berenson) before trying to settle down, though his lifetime has created enemies.
Thoughts on Barry Lyndon
Characters – Barry comes from a rich family in Ireland, he hasn’t been assigned a wife yet, but has set his eyes on his own cousin, when he learns he can’t have her, he end sup being pushed out the family where he travels the world in the military, reaching high ranks, saving lives and rubbing shoulders with the wealthy around the Europe. Lady Honoria Lyndon is a countess that Barry meets and wins the heart of despite her being married, after her husband’s death the two marry. We do meet plenty of different people that Barry meets through his lifetime, each one shows his true colours through the years.
Performances – Ryan O’Neal is the highlight of the acting in this film, he keeps us believing the events of his character’s life, when you look into the supporting cast nobody does anything wrong, they just don’t seem to get a chance to make that big of an impact on the story with their performances.
Story – The story here follows one man that came from wealth, lost everything before needing to rebuild his reputation and will do anything to do so, only to make his own enemies along the way. This is a story that is meant to show how the wealthy would live in the 18th century and how money would be their own biggest weakness. We have a 3 hour runtime here, which shows because we diving into so many almost pointless side stories could easily be cut from the film and by the end of this story you will feel like half a day has gone past.
Adventure/History – The adventure side of this film shows us just where Barry heads to rebuild his reputation around Europe, it is set as a story from history, it just shows how naïve the people were at this time.
Settings – The film can’t be faulted with the settings which are fantastic with how each set is created through the film to show where Barry has been through.
Final Thoughts – This is an overly long movie that just drags out the story even though it is cover up by brilliant cinematography, costume design and set design.
Overall: Not my cup of tea.