One of the best things about Mary Harron’s hilarious portrayal of the idiosyncratic Salvador Dali fiction, Daliland, is that it’s not a cradle-to-grave excavation. Instead, the film focuses on Dali’s later years, a time when he was widely and erroneously and permanently overshadowed by both the commercial profile of his art and the high-profile scandals of his lifetime. Rather than being a perfect portrait, Harron’s work is more like a distillation of sensibility, as if Dalí had been dropped into an alcohol still to extract its essence.
Understated, but men, myths and mustaches are all here. Harron enters the world of Dalí through an invented character, James (newcomer Christopher Briney), who recently took a job at Dalí’s New York gallery. James, a dull boy, stands in for the viewer, a wide-eyed tourist in an enchanted foreign land. His participation is partly coincidental, but partly because of his good looks and timing. Struggling to produce enough new material for his upcoming show, Dalí (Ben Kingsley) recruits James as his assistant, leading him through a world of frenzy, sometimes funny, sometimes dark. Bacchanalia in the title of the movie.
Much of the story takes place in 1974 and begins at the Rijksmuseum, one of Dali’s annual winter stays. St. Regis Hotel in New York. There, in a spacious suite enveloped in cigarette smoke and blaring rock music, he and his formidable, sometimes fearsome wife, Gala (Barbara Sukowa), meet beautiful people and begging waiters, glimmering as Dali watches. I run a circus. ‘s longtime aide, Captain Moore (Rupert Graves). Amid ostrich crowing, champagne flowing, and cola processions, the jaw-dropping James is surrounded by entourages like Alice Cooper (Mark McKenna) and artist muse Amanda Lia (Andreja Pejic). ), and meets Ginesta, one of the most obtuse love interests. Suki Waterhouse).
James isn’t all that funny either, and there are too many of him in the movie. This is not Briney’s fault. He’s pleasing to watch and manages the transition from tourist to accidental Dali tree guide well enough. But once Dali and Gala make an appearance, he quickly and understandably becomes the only character you want to spend time with. For example, they have long been accustomed to the role of feeding public profiles and public relations, which is interesting. She is the mistress who plucks her money, while he alternately cowers, begs for her attention, and lifts her up. The relationship brings tension and mystery that complicate Kingsley and Skova to the shock of Gargoyle’s mask and vulnerability.