Everyone knows about, or has at least heard of Joseph Merrick. Dubbed ‘The Elephant Man’, he was named thus because of his facial deformity. He is a symbol of the 19th century curiosity with ‘freaks’ but with the help of Frederick Treves, a London surgeon, Merrick achieved a life where he made friends and could be understood.
Anthony Hopkins’ performance as Dr Treves blew me away. He played the character sympathetically and the scenes between Hurt and Hopkins were just magical. I wouldn’t say it was ‘chemistry’ because that would just be debasing. Their moments on-screen are just so believable, and I think that’s what lent itself to it being so moving and heartbreaking.
This film also made me think about the way in which people who are ‘different’ are treated. Even today, when we think ourselves far more enlightened and intelligent, we still treat people badly who are ‘different’ in some way, whether their disfigurement is mental or physical.
MY RATING: ***** / *****