Tuesday, 27 November 2012

'Great expectations', because I've already watched it

I watched the new ‘Great Expectations’ film about a month ago, and am ashamed to say that I had not realised that it had not yet been officially released until yesterday when I was watching the evening news. Before you become the judge and jury (as the girls happened to do) and accuse me of watching it illegally, I watched it as part of some British Films Festival which also happened to have director’s questions afterwards. So yes, I’m not some sort of film pirate.
My first impressions of the film were that it was going to be something very well made, with a very good cast and with a not half bad piece of eye candy playing Pip- I wasn’t half wrong. That is, that the whole film was very well made minus the title sequence at the beginning which had the word ‘great expectations’ in a font which made it look like something out of word art. I know it’s picky, but it just really annoyed me. My biggest issue is that I found myself comparing it to the BBC adaptation- something I really enjoyed despite others giving it bad reviews
I though Ralph Fiennes made a great Magwitch, especially after Keith Allen’s version. I felt Irvine despite being a darling on the screen, seemed a little stiff as Pip. I don’t feel he works well in dramas which are set in that Victorian period- period dramas perhaps. He seemed too overdone for my liking. Whilst I generally love Bonham Carter’s work I didn’t particularly like her depiction of Ms Havisham that is not to say that she was not divine. I merely didn’t like how crazy Ms Havisham was in her depiction, it seemed too crazy woman in the horror movies, there needed to be something more distant for my Ms Havisham. However, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing; she might have got the true Ms Havisham nailed to a t. I think she merely made me feel uncomfortable, and that made me more opposed to her performance.
There were people who I actually did like just so you all know. I loved Holliday Grainger’s Estella, because I’ve always felt that whilst Ms Havisham reared Estella to have no heart (that’s not a spoiler by the way) Estella is only human and should have feelings- Grainger gave Estella that depth. Olly Alexander was a cute Herbert Pocket, but since they left out his love story my heart shall always belong to Harry Lloyd’s Herbert Pocket and ironically I also quite enjoyed Ben Lloyd-Hughes’ Bentley Drummle.
I also had a moment when watching it when I pointed at the screen scream-whispering because I knew the girl on the screen playing a young Biddy. When I saw her at ballet a few days afterwards I just pointed and shouted, and she just blushed- far too modest. The other screaming moment I had? Well, almost screaming... It was how they decided to well sort of ‘deal’ with the Ms Havisham ‘incident’- I felt it was too graphic for me. I loved the power of suggestion in the BBC adaptation.
Despite all my little pickings I did actually quite enjoy the film for the bits which I actually happened to like. The bad balanced out the good. The thing is this classic, unless totally butchered by a director and screenwriter will always be enjoyable because of the twists and turns in the plot. It’s interesting and it’s Dickens- he knew just how to do thoughtful drama. You don’t have to feel guilty for getting wrapped up in the plot. Now all I have to do is actually get around to reading the book.
The film comes out on Friday 30th Novemeber in cinemas and the trailer link is in this sentence, although it kind of gives the whole plot away. But, then again, most people should know the plot...

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Between your review and the trailer, I -cannot- wait to see this! It's a perfect winter/ holiday movie!

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