Quam's Money (2020)

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Quam's Money (2020). Quam’s Money: Directed by Kayode Kasum. With Falz, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Uchemba Williams, Toni Tones. Quam’s Money follows the adventures of security guard-turned-millionaire ‘Quam’ played by Folarin ‘Falz’ Falana as he navigates the world with his newfound wealth.

“Iu0026#39;ve been seeking adaptations of Oscar Wildeu0026#39;s novel since reading it, which is something Iu0026#39;ve also recently done with Bram Stokeru0026#39;s u0026quot;Draculau0026quot; and Mary Shelleyu0026#39;s u0026quot;Frankenstein,u0026quot; but there arenu0026#39;t as many Dorian Gray movies available as there are for the other two, so Iu0026#39;ve been scraping the bottom of the barrel, and this awful 1980s TV movie is at the bottom. It does try to do two semi-novel things in reworking the book, which is welcome, but it entirely mucks them up and, consequently, has very little to do with what Wildeu0026#39;s story is actually about.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eOne of those semi-novel things is the gender reversal, that Dorian Gray is a woman here. (A now-lost 1915 film adaptation also starred a woman.) I saw a 2007 TV u0026quot;Frankensteinu0026quot; movie that did something interesting with a similar gender reversal of its eponymous character. Not so here. Rather, all of the gay subtext of Wildeu0026#39;s tale is gone, although I doubt there would be much left even if this TV movie cast a man as Dorian. This fem Dorian only flirts with the opposite sex, but we never see or are explicitly told that she ever has any liaisons. She begins the movie as a waitress and aspiring artist and becomes a successful model for beauty products. Absurdly, this lands her photograph on the covers of Life, Newsweek and Time magazines. Right, as if that ever happens for mere models. An elderly Henry picks up the Newsweek one, which is inscribed, u0026quot;What ever happened to Dorian Gray?u0026quot; It mustu0026#39;ve been a slow news week.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eLike the 2007 u0026quot;Frankensteinu0026quot; TV movie, this one is also updated to the present, and it reverses the genders of a few other characters. Instead of Sibyl Vane, itu0026#39;s Stuart Vane, and rather than him being a Shakespearean actor as Sibyl was in the book, heu0026#39;s a singing piano player who prefers to perform at a bar where nobody listens to him because of his stage fright and, perhaps, he has some kind of drug problem. Heu0026#39;s also married with a baby on the way and rides a motorcycle. Like the book, Dorian falls out of love with her/him because of their failure to perform, but in this case the lack of performance is unintentional, as itu0026#39;s due to Vaneu0026#39;s anxiety. Thereu0026#39;s also no Basil, the painter of Dorianu0026#39;s portrait, here, but Henryu0026#39;s wife, renamed Angela, is a filmmaker who replaces him.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThis is the other semi-novel concept of this one: instead of a painting, the picture of Dorian Gray is a motion picture, or rather a screen test for a role that Dorian ultimately doesnu0026#39;t accept. (This is similar to the use of video surveillance for the Dorian-esque character in u0026quot;Phantom of the Paradiseu0026quot; (1974).) The scene is of Dorianu0026#39;s portrait being painted, like the scene of Basil and Dorian in the book. Since this Dorian is female and the u0026quot;Basilu0026quot; in the screen test is male, however, again, thereu0026#39;s no homoeroticism. This alteration from the source is full of interesting self-reflexive possibilities, and this TV movie does next to nothing with it, except to cause the ending to make less sense. Removing Vane from being an actor also subtracts the self-reflexive potential of acting, of a play-within-a-play.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eOn top of these failures, there are two unnecessary flashforwards. Bernard Hofferu0026#39;s song of the same name is loudly and annoyingly played a few times in lieu of anything happening in the way of plot. Henry is the narrator, Alan Campbell is a photographer now, and the booku0026#39;s ambiguously gay blackmail plot is reduced to collecting on an IOU. A Tracy character invented for this movie comes out of nowhere–well, actually she comes from just the scene prior–to accuse Dorian of murder, which begs the questions of how does Tracy know this, why does she care and why would we care about her opinion on the matter? The movie lacks all of the aestheticism and hedonism of the original. Although renamed u0026quot;The Sins of,u0026quot; the only sins the movie shows are murder. No sex. No drugs. Dorian has a party at her relatively-small apartment, which includes drag queens–the closest, I guess, this adaptation comes to transgressiveness, but all theyu0026#39;re doing is watching TV. Wilde wrote his novel in the Victorian age and yet his prose was far more daring than this regressive 1980s TV dreck. He had to allude to a lot, but even his Dorian explicitly went to an opium den, had affairs with various women and made a mockery of religion. This TV Dorian is told to pray by Henry, and she dutifully does just that!u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe acting is wretched, too. Dorian goes from a grinning fool to a sobbing, wining and sniveling drama queen. And this is the worst Lord Henry Iu0026#39;ve ever seen. I love u0026quot;Psychou0026quot; (1960), but Iu0026#39;m not sure Anthony Perkins can act hardly at all, especially if this movie is any indication. Itu0026#39;s bad enough that the movie removes almost all of Wildeu0026#39;s epigrams given voice by Henry, and that they largely removed his immorality. Perkins is wooden in the part: he delivers his lines with odd pauses and speaks as though out of the side of his mouth, and his movements are stiff and sometimes artificially abrupt. Even the other bad Dorian Gray movies Iu0026#39;ve seen tend to have the saving grace of the wit of Wildeu0026#39;s original Lord Henry, but here, the saving grace for this Henry may be that itu0026#39;s so bad in every way that Perkins is somewhat disguised.”


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