Restoration

on December 29, 1995 by Kim Williamson
Print
   "Our physician has become our fool," says a court onlooker of Robert Merivel (Robert Downey Jr.), natural-born healer turned near-harlequin by the "treasures and temptations" of being appointed royal Rx to England's Charles II (Sam Neill) in 1663 London. The monarchy has been restored, and the cultural Restoration has begun, but before Merivel will find his path again he will have to live through trial and tribulation: Husband in a marriage arranged by the king to hide a mistress ("Enchanted April's" Polly Walker), he falls in unrequited love with her and is banished from his position; returning to private service with a physician friend ("Naked's" David Thew-lis), he marries an emotionally and mentally unbalanced patient (Meg Ryan), who dies in birthing his child; as the bubonic plague crosses the land, he struggles to save as many lives as he can.
   Downey gives a seamless picaresque performance under the direction of Michael Hoffman ("Soapdish"), but that direction skirmishes with the serious im- port of Rupert Walters' script; Hoffman isn't quite up to the task of dealing with matters of the soul. Supporting players, which also include Hugh Grant and Ian McKellen, are fine, as is the convincing work by production designer Eugenio Zanetti and Oscar-winning costumer James Acheson.    Robert Downey Jr., Sam Neill and Meg Ryan. Directed by Michael Hoffman. Written by Rupert Walters. Produced by Cary Brokaw and Andy Paterson. A Miramax release. Drama. Rated R for sexuality. Running time: 118 min.
Tags: James Acheson. Robert Downey Jr., Sam Neill and Meg Ryan. Directed by Michael Hoffman. Written by Rupert Walters. Produced by Cary Brokaw, Andy Paterson, Miramax, Drama
Print

read all Reviews »


0 Comments

No comments were posted.

What do you think?