Dr Mortimer Granville(Hugh Dancy) tries to educate his peers and employers about the importance of germ theory in the Victorian era. As a result, Granville keeps getting fired from many of the institutions reluctant to change or adopt revolutionary ideas. After unsuccessfully knocking at many doors, Granville comes across Dr Robert Darlymple(Jonathan Pryce) who runs a successful clinic for treating female hysteria. As he is getting older and also has a huge clientele, Darlymple takes up Granville as an apprentice. The two daughters of Darlymple - progressively thinking Charlotte(Maggie Gyllenhaal) and obedient Emily(Felicity Jones) - and the nature of his new job changes the life of Granville.The nature of his new job makes Granville and his friend Lord Edmunde St John-Smythe(Rupert Everett) to invent a mechanical device to treat female hysteria. The mechanical device is the vibrator!
Directed by Tanya Wexler, the trailer of the movie was good enough to evoke laughter and hook the interest of the audience. Luckily for us, Tanya follows this up by making a movie which entertains us just like the trailers. The highlights of the movie is the lack of nudity despite the theme, nuanced (yes, I mean it) by the actresses usually the ones playing the supporting role and straight-faced reaction by the men. To top it all, there is brilliant word play by the actors resulting in double entendres which doesn't sound vulgar despite walking on thin ice. This is to be expected as this is British movie. The cast and crew are mostly British. On the flip side, the movie tries to integrate too many plot lines through the character of Charlotte which brings in feminism and romance. This dilutes the impact of the movie. Fortunately, not to a great extent. Performance wise, it is Jonathan Pryce and the supporting actors/actresses that leaves an impact.
This is recommended. But leave the kids behind.