Lolita is the story of Professor Humbert, man who suddenly finds himself playing with the notion of falling in love with a 15 year old girl, a child. He even goes as far as marrying Lolita’s mother so that he can be closer to Lolita! Will Humbert control his aberrant thoughts? Or will he move forward with his desires? And what will the outcome of his actions be?
On the other hand, Adrian Lyne’s version of Lolita was actually a pleasure to watch. Lyne really captured some beautiful imagery on this film. He framed every shot perfectly, he filmed in beautiful locations, and got the best performances he could out of these actors. He pulled of a story that is not easy to tell, in a very beautiful way.
This film did come closer to capturing the developing intricacies of Humbert and Lolita’s strange relationship. It focuses on those little details, those little moments that are decisive in moving forward with a relationship, in this sense, we have to say that this film developed everything better than Kubrick’s version did. Kubrick's version was afraid of its themes, while this version embraces them. You see Humbert oogling on Lolita, you can see machinations forming in Humbert’s brain, you can tell this man wants Lolita in his arms. And Lolita is more of a provocateur in this film, she is the one pushing Humbert’s buttons as well. Dominique Swain, the actress who plays Lolita was only 15 when she shot this, but Adrian Lyne filmed her more erotic scenes with a body double. This illusion works perfectly well, for we didn’t notice it until we recently read about it. Still, the sex scenes are not graphic at all, it’s the idea that grabs and shocks you. But we're not here to see Jeremy Irons making out with a 15 year old girl, this film is after all a morality play, we want to explore what is the right thing to do. And if you choose to do the wrong thing, what are the consequences?
All in all, a great movie. The controversy surrounding the thematic elements made it difficult for this movie to take off at the box office. It actually got a very small theatrical run and was later premiered on cable tv. We were surprised to discover that this film didn’t even get any Oscar Nominations when it so obviously should have gotten many awards. We guess this shows just how conservative the members of the academy are. This movie should have at least been nominated for cinematography, but alas, it was ignored by the academy that year. We guess Titanic was “king of the world” on that year and Lolita was completely ignored because of that. A shame, because even though this films thematic elements speak of a very ugly truth; this is actually a very beautiful film to look at. A true work of art.