Mr. Malcolm’s List; A Surprisingly Delightful Romance Film of the Summer Season. Grade: B
Mr. Malcolm’s List centers around England in the 1800’s, where at a Opera show comes a couple unwed beings Mr. Malcolm (Sope Dirisu) and Julia (Zawe Ashton) are attending a date with each other. Mr. Malcolm is a very wealthy and well mannered being, while Julia is well mannered and pretty however is not Mr. Malcolm’s type as the date didn’t go so well. There was a cartoon illustration mocking out Julia getting rejected by Mr. Malcolm, leaving her with great humiliation. Not to mentioned Lord Cassidy (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) has come to known, that Mr. Malcolm has a list in which determines which girl is qualified to be his bride, and if the girl is not what he wants from his list from top to bottom… He simply will not marry the girl. So to get back at Mr. Malcolm: Julia invites her friend Selina (Freida Pinto) whom they’ve been friends since they were children, which Selina is also unwed as well. So what Julia hopes is to sabotage Mr. Malcolm by having Selina lead him on and then humiliate him at the end of it.
The Cinematography t’was solid, lovely shot film especially showcasing the nature shots of this film, the dining hall, the ball hall, and especially in dark areas where Mr. Malcolm and Selina first meet or when Selina was trapped in a room. Costume Design was adorable as well, accurate towards the time period of this story. The Score was solid as well, lovely symphony style type of music that puts your mind at peace. The cast all in all was actually pretty solid as a whole, seems like the cast had a load of fun working on this project, as everyone meshes well together creating lovely chemistry with everyone.
When it comes to these high elegant period piece films… I don’t necessarily get excited for them. I mean you’ll get your quality films here and there, but at times it can feel repetitive some especially the dramas. I gotta say: Mr. Malcolm’s List was a pleasant surprise, as this was a delightful experience that can honestly be liked amongst adults and even children.
The story at hand features an extremely petty gal, who wants to humiliate a man just because he wasn’t too fond of her enough to go forward to a second date… Who would’ve known pettiness would be as old as two-hundred years ago old?! It’s got a really goofy premise and even the main character Selina whom is drawn into this ordeal felt it was ridiculous, however she goes along with it with an open mind about the man as soon enough… We experience an adorable love story, that does better an arrogant man for the better, that love should not be determined if a woman is everything you want to be on your dream girl list.
It’s also refreshing to see two significant others, who are primarily focused on building a connection with each other simply by talking and getting to know each other, rather than just jumping into bed the next minute. That’s really how much development is built around Selina and Mr. Malcolm: They really dive deep into each others mind, as when they dig deeper beyond their own comfort zone… Suddenly they shift gears as they become much more understanding of the person, rather than letting their selfish ways get the best of the potential relationship they have in front of them. It was also quite cute seeing Mr. Malcolm and Selina venture around, especially at the dance hall at the end of the second act where they shared a dance at a costume like ball.
Say what you want about Mr. Malcolm and his list, but at least he’s a man that has morals and standards, that treats women correctly as he prefers to marry someone with a mind rather than based his attraction on someone with good looks. Is he a bit arrogant?! Yes, but at least he’s not your typical modern day hounddog.
The comedy material was also satisfying as well. Delightful well written humor that delivered on playful and colorful jokes, that didn’t even have any cussing involved… There is quite much to be impressed with this film.
The film does however have a couple flaws to mention. I felt Julia’s pettiness against Mr. Malcolm was a bit excessive. Yeah it’s one thing to be disappointed about a first date not leading into more dates, however to blame Mr. Malcolm on an illustration that features yourself getting denied by him as you want to humiliate him is a bit absurd. Mr. Malcolm didn’t even draw that illustration, so why are you mad at him for?! I also felt an unexpected love interest reveal at the end should’ve been held up until fifteen to twenty minutes later. No Spoilers: But what had just happened previously… I’m not too sure if I for one, would want to be attracted to someone that did such a mean thing to another person, maybe give it more time breathe where all is forgiven.
Overall, Mr. Malcolm’s List was a solid delightful period piece romance film. I recommend checking this one out, definitely a cute date movie to go to for sure. -Mitch Smietana