The Happy Prince is the heartbreaking story of an artist who deserved so much better than the worst of the treatment he received whilst alive. The artist in question is the now very much deservedly adored and celebrated Irish poet and playwright, Oscar Wilde.
Starring Rupert Everett, Colin Firth and Emily Watson, I wanted to learn about the untold story of the tragic times leading up to Wilde’s last days. As a fan of his work and many of his great quotes, I had somehow imagined that I’d be hearing famous Wilde quote after famous Wild quote as the movie played. This is not quite what happened and I’m not sure that if it had, it would have been a good.
The good news is that there’s definitely clever and witty Wilde sayings to enjoy, even though Everett’s film focuses quite rightly on telling Wilde’s truth and capturing his undeniably magnetic charm.
As well as the fact that The Happy Prince is rather well cast, the cinematography is a pleasant surprise. I liked the general flow of the story which switches between present day and flashbacks. I also enjoyed the words that follow the unexpected confrontation in France… ‘There’s nothing in me, not even fear.’
The Happy Prince brought to mind the value of great friends during dark times. It also reminds me that as sad as Wilde’s story is, I can’t help but notice how far LGBTQ rights have come since the days of Wilde, and that certainly makes me happy.
Watch it if you’re a fan of Wilde. I have been for a long time. I even went to his final resting place at Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris once.
One more Wilde quote… ‘Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.’
Happy Film Loving