(kr) wrote: **SPOILERS**Where do I start? Reviewing this melodramatic movie that leaves youdead at the end (no pun intended), is going to be a task. I canhonestly classify it as the most depressing film I have seen in a longtime. The story is apparently based on a writing by the name of"Thrse Raquin," written in 1867 by Emile Zola.In short, the movie is about a young girl, who after her mother dies,is placed with her aunt and her sick, coughing cousin. Jessica Langeplays a controlling mother (Madame Raquin), who orchestrates Therese'slife at every turn. Her father passes away, and Therese is left with asmall annuity. No doubt for her own financial gain, she insists thatTherese marry her cousin. Unfortunately, he is not appealing inpersonality or looks, while she on the other hand is attracted tohandsome men and deals with an uncontrollable sex drive.When they relocate from the country to Paris, down a dark and dingystreet to open a shop, Therese meets Laurent, a friend of the family.It doesn't take long for the two of them to fall into a lust-driven,sexual relationship that borders on the ridiculous as they meet insecret. Her domineering aunt has no idea that while she is tending thestore below, her niece is copulating like a nymphomaniac upstairs inthe room she shares with her son. Though you are led to believe it islove between the two, I frankly thought it bordered on physicalobsession. Her lover knows how to control her need for him bypleasuring her at every turn, just as well as her aunt who manipulatesher to do her bidding.As far as Therese's husband, played by Tom Felton, he is a boring andidiotic man, and a mama's boy. His relationship with his mother isfrankly as sickly as his health (cough, cough), as his mother dominatesand coddles him into adulthood.Laurent, as sexually driven as Therese, wants her all to himself. Hesuggests that they orchestrate an accident to do away with her husband.After all, accidents happen every day. Therese is hesitant to carry outthe plan, but Laurent takes it to the end when the three of them goboating. He pushes her husband overboard, beats him with a paddle, andthey watch him drown. Of course, they are dragged back to shorefeigning a terrible boating accident wherein he loses his life. Hisbody is recovered, buried, and no one is the wiser, except for onefamily friend who has her suspicions.Of course, after the murder and time passes, Laurent and Therese marryand live together with Madame Raquin at the shop. Their relationshipturns sour very quickly, as guilt for murdering Camille and theirdebase personalities come to the forefront. In the meantime, MadameRaquin has a stroke, no doubt brought on by her excessive grief overher son's death, and is left unable to move or speak. As she isconfined to a wheelchair, she discovers through their yelling fightswith one another that they murdered her son.Well, where does this leave this sordid tale of dysfunctional family,adultery, lust, and whatever else you want to term it? It comes to anend where Therese and Laurent grow to hate each other so much they ploteach other's demise. In the end, they both go mad as a hatter, andcommit suicide in front of Madame Raquin, who finally obtains justicefor her son's murder. The scene is no Romeo and Juliet moment, believeme. Instead, it is a sad commentary to two selfish people who committeda senseless murder that leads to no happy ending.As far as performances, Jessica Lange, I thought carried the insatiablegrief about her son's death to a psychotic level. Whether it was theintention of her performance to do so because of the script, I have noidea. However, I thought it felt excessive. Elizabeth Olsen'sportrayal, as well as Oscar Isaac's, as the colliding lovers(definitely not star-crossed lovers), were well done conveying thecharacters' crazy drive for sex and ultimate demise due to guilt thatborders on lunacy.The setting overall, especially in Paris, is very dark and gloomy,which frankly mirrors the story. The costumes were mid-Victorian eraand dull in color for the most part.If you like depressing, dark, and dramatic period movies that leave youfeeling uninspired, this one is for you.