Today: April 24, 2024

Forbidden Love

The theme of forbidden love has formed the basis of many romantic dramas; fuelling scenes of passion, desire, and devotion. The latest film to add to the line-up is The Invisible Woman; the true story of Charles Dickens and his young mistress, actress Nelly Ternan. Ralph Fiennes directs himself as Dickens, with Felicity Jones as the beautiful actress.  Nelly is forced to remain an ‘invisible’ muse and lover to hide the scandalous relationship from the world. To mark the February 7th release in cinemas, FilmJuice takes a look at some of the most memorable films about forbidden love.

The Graduate (1967)
Starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, The Graduate tells the story of Benjamin Braddock and his affair with the wife of one of his father’s business partners, Mrs. Robinson. Having recently graduated from college, Ben meets Mrs. Robinson upon arriving home and they begin a short-lived affair. However, his past comes back to haunt him as Ben finds himself falling in love with Elaine, Mrs. Robinson’s daughter. The Graduate is not only a hugely influential coming of age comedy but hilariously tells one of film’s more surprising tales of forbidden love.

Water For Elephants (2011)
When his parents die in a car accident before he finishes his veterinary studies, Jacob Jankowski finds a new life in the circus. It is here that he meets Marlena, the young wife of the ill-tempered and unstable circus owner, August. Jacob soon falls in love with Marlena, and she with Jacob. August’s violent nature threatens their lives and the livelihood of the circus. Based on the novel, by Sara Gruen and starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson, the film shows just how far much people in love will fight to be together.

Lolita (1997)
In this highly controversial film, based on the famous Nabokov novel, Humbert Humbert falls in love with his landlady’s 14-year-old daughter, Dolores “Lolita” Haze. Humbert, a British professor who moved to the US to teach, marries Charlotte Haze, in order to stay close to Lolita. Lolita soon proves to be much more mature than her age and begins a relationship with her new stepfather. The gripping tale of Lolita, starring Melanie Griffith and Jeremy Irons, with Dominique Swain as Dolores, is filled with guilt and jealousy, and perfectly depicts the ultimate price one might pay for forbidden love.

In The Mood For Love (2000)
Newspaper editor, Chow Mo-Wan, moves into a new building with his wife. At the same time, Su Li-Zhen, a beautiful secretary, moves into the building with her husband. Chow and Li-Zhen form a friendship and begin spending time together as their spouses are away. However, they soon find out their significant others are having an affair and vow to not be like their unfaithful spouses, yet find comfort in their growing relationship. Set in Hong Kong in 1962, In the Mood For Love, starring Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung Chiu Wai, beautifully illustrates the growing love between two individuals and their resistance to give into passionate feelings.

The Scarlett Letter (1995)
Fleeing from 17th Century England, Hester Prynne arrives to Massachusetts Bay Colony where she awaits the arrival of her husband from England. While befriending other outsiders in the colony, Hester falls for young pastor Arthur Dimmesdale. After rumour of her husband’s death reach her, Hester succumbs to her feelings and bears the pastor’s child. On the day Hester is made to wear a scarlet A – for adultery – her husband arrives, very much alive, seeking revenge on his wife. The Scarlet Letter, starring Demi Moore and Gary Oldman shows that sometimes love will overcome every rule and every humiliation.

Romeo and Juliet (1996)
Even relocated to modern day Verona, Romeo and Juliet remains a timeless story of star-crossed lovers. The Montague and the Capulet families are fierce, feuding enemies whose children meet and fall in love. Still preserving the original dialogue from the Shakespeare classic, Romeo and Juliet, starring a young Leonard DiCaprio and Claire Danes, is a truly great – and tragic – forbidden love story.

Titanic (1997)
101-year-old Rose DeWitt Butaker tells the story of her romantic adventure on the Titanic, and her discovery of true love, to her granddaughter and the crew aboard a deep-sea exploration ship. While aboard the Titanic, Rose met Jack Dawson, a poor but spirited artist with whom she soon fell in love. When the Titanic went down, Jack lost his life, but Rose used his name to disappear from her rich family and fiancé. 84-years-later, Rose recalls this story as the crew searches for remnants of the wreck and her nearly priceless lost jewellery. A beautifully told story Titanic starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, is a spectacular tale of love lost.

The Invisible Woman is released in UK cinemas on 7th February. 

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