Rewatched Jan 30, 2012
Brendan Brown’s review:
Improv-and-quiet-despair-reknowned British filmmaker Mike Leigh makes his costume drama.
The film begins at the tipping point in the famously tumultuous partnership between W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan--on the cusp of a permanent breakup--and results in the genesis, development, and execution of their most-loved operetta: THE MIKADO.
With a cast of a dozen major roles, all who carefully researched their historical, real-life counterpart, TOPSY-TURVY's many narrative threads weave in and out of the narrative--sometimes obliquely hint at entire other movies going on that only intersect with this one.
Far from being a stuffy period piece, the film is constantly engaging, complex, and presents levels of humour constantly throughout.
At times, while watching this film, you can't help but wonder if the middle and upper class Victorian English were, in fact, space aliens. Other times, the concerns and methods of the characters and the society they represent seem achingly familiar and contemporary.