John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester was a rake of the highest order. He seduced other women whilst his wife stayed at home, was contemptuous of his benefactor, King Charles II, openly humiliating him in front of the king of France, whom Charles was attempting to obtain money, and managed to lose half his face and most of his mind to tertiary syphilis.
But considering this is a film about someone experiencing the heights of hedonism, it’s strangely an incredibly boring film, even with Johnny Depp putting in a pretty good performance. However Wilmot as a character is supposed to be debauched and shocking – the reality is that his life seems rather unchallenging and dull. The film is hard work, with the exception of Michael Nyman’s excellent soundtrack and Depp’s silver nose covering the worst of his excesses. An opportunity sadly lost.