The greatest curse upon a man is to love a woman who does not love you back.
Director Justin Chadwick brings to us the adaptation of the novel by Deborah Moggach on the silver screen with the help on screenplay by the author herself. The result is a somewhat bland drama, with decent performances all around but not enough to make a striking remark. The story of Tulip Fever, set in around 18th century Europe, begins with the proposal of marriage of a young nun to a wealthy and greying man in exchange for betterment of lives of her siblings in the Church.
The marriage is not more than a contract for both, as the wealthy man Cornelis (Christoph Waltz) too wants a child, a boy to be precise, as a heir to his legacy. And so the young woman Sofia (Alicia Vikander) accepts her fate as now a woman in the upper echelon of the society. In return, she tries hard to fulfill the purpose of marriage but with no result any sooner.
To please her, and to basically do what rich men do, Cornelis hires a young painter to make a fine art of the two of them. Bored and tired in her life, Sofia seems to form an inexplicable connection with the young painter(Danny Dehaan) who resonates with equal passion. The result is a steamy affair, but like all affairs, is not without its consequences. In the parallel, Sofia’s maid Maria (Holliday Grainger) is in head over heels for the local fish seller Willem (Jack O’Connell), who plans to make it big soon for the both of them. What further ensues is a not so complex tale of confusions, desires fulfilled, hearts broken, and tulip seed trading, which is nothing more than a plot device to be honest.
Heck the movie could have had lottery winnings instead and there would have been no difference. Tulip Fever has a constant tone of attraction which is both a good and a bad thing, as the audience who are interested in the life of Sofia will not lose it, but there’s not a good punch in the story to attract less inclined viewers. Nearing the end the movie picks up the pace though. The direction is okay at its best, and so are the performances by the actors. But if we have to choose a winner it’ll be a tie between Vikander and Waltz, though both are not memorable enough. Danny Dehaan’s charming smile might win many hearts amongst the ladies too.
You may also like : Tomb Raider (2018) Movie Review
Overall, Tulip Fever is a good reflection upon the grey characters of the world, but not a cinematic brilliance sadly.