Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Anthony Perkins, Lee J. Cobb
Director: Mel Ferrer
Running Time: 104 mins
Green Mansions is an American film about a Venezuelan traveller who ventures into the jungle and discovers a strange young girl living an isolated life in the forest, and he begins to fall in love with her.
While I still think that Audrey Hepburn is pretty much infallible, even she couldn’t save a film like this from being terribly boring. It’s an incredibly slow-paced, emotionless and simply dull story about a totally unconvincing romance, however it is very good-looking and has an exciting climax.
Starting with the main, and pretty much only, positive, I thought that the scenery and cinematography was fantastic in this film. Landscape shots over the jungles and great camera work in some of the more frantic scenes made it very exciting to look at.
Also, it manages to capture the very dream-like feel of the whole film. Vignettes and soft focus work very well to show its more surreal, fantastical character, however it just doesn’t fit well with the story, which was appalling.
The first 20 minutes, Anthony Perkins’ discovery of the tribes living in the jungles, is absolutely tedious. You’d think that arriving in a situation like this would introduce some peril into the story, but it’s all so weak that you never feel for one moment that his character is in any danger, and that means that the effectiveness entire plot of the opening stages is eliminated.
Then, when Audrey Hepburn arrives on the scene, the whole story goes wrong. The pace effectively slows to zero, the romance that ‘blossoms’ is not at all convincing, and seems to happen very suddenly, and it sparks very little interest in its two main characters.
In effect, the performances don’t work well. Anthony Perkins was very wooden, and Audrey Hepburn is pretty much silent. That may have been the brief for the innocent forest girl, however it meant that you never got at all interested in her character, which could have been quite enigmatic in reality.
The final 5 minutes of the film are a lot more engaging than the rest of the film, as you finally see some danger come into play, however seeing as you’ve had next to no emotional connection with the main characters prior to this, it’s not at all as effective as it could have been.
Overall, this gets a 5.2, because despite looking brilliant, it was not interesting, emotional or exciting enough to every really get you engaged.