Click here for IMDB's info on Lolita
After nearly four years of languishing unreleased due to its controversial content, this film has finally been unleashed to the public and was well worth the wait. Full of lush visuals, flawless acting and a competent script, Adrian Lyne's Lolita is a near-perfect adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's controversial 1955 novel of the same name.
The story of Humbert Humbert's obsessive love for the nymphet Dolores Haze was told before in 1962 by Stanley Kubrick, but Lyne improves on Kubrick's version not only by showing us today what Kubrick never could (not that this version is full-on get-down pornography; the trysts between Humbert and Lolita are tastefully done, and implied. There is no nudity whatsoever), he and Irons (in one of his best performances) give us a deeper portrait of the flawed and morally corrupt man, and manage to keep us on his side while he commits deeds that are purely disgusting. Newcomer Dominique Swain is also wonderful as the devilish nymphet who taunts Humbert with her budding sexuality, only to point out his hypocrisy by calling him a pervert, as well as "Dad."
However, what works best with Lolita is that it doesn't judge Humbert or his actions (it leaves that to the viewer), rather it manages to turn the tables on us as viewers when we find ourselves actually rooting for Humbert as the protagonist of the film. We abhor his actions, but are under the same trance that he is been put under by his undying and illogical love for Lolita.
It has been asked by many what exactly made the twisted tale of an aged man's obsessive and almost incestuous love for his step-daughter Dolores Haze "the only convincing love story of our century" (by Vanity Fair)? After all, we aren't even supposed to like this man, or even sympathize with him. But we are supposed to empathize with him, to understand why he is the way he is, and through our understanding, we can learn more about ourselves.