Thursday, 6 December 2012

Great Expectations

UK Release: 30th November 2012
Watched in the Cinema: Wednesday 5th December 2012
Rating: 12A
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 2hrs 8mins
IMDb Plot Synopsis: A humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.

My Review: Great Expectations was every bit as atmospheric and wonderfully acted as I was expecting. After falling in love with the BBC adaptation that was broadcast about a year (!!) ago I was dubious that the feature would have the same effect. And to be honest it didn’t as I knew some of what was coming. I say some as I had forgotten a couple of the plot points, but that made it more interesting to watch so I can’t complain. I think it’s a good adaptation for someone who isn’t familiar with the story as it is excellently put together, yet condensed in order to fit into a (still long, admittedly) feature film. Perhaps that’s where it lost some of its spark.
Still, it was hard not to compare it with the TV series as it was one of the best things I saw on television last year. One thing I can say is that it was more realistically shot, yet ultimately still managed to capture that magical period, almost a fantasy world, that Dickens originally created. The moors were gorgeous and London disgusting, just as it should be. And Miss Havisham’s mansion/house incredible, capturing that sinister ethereal quality perfectly. 
Despite all that it was the acting that was the most stunning thing about the film. Ralph Fiennes, Jason Flemyng, Helena Bonham-Carter, Jeremy Irvine, Holliday Grainger... all brilliant. And I can see why Bonham-Carter has been so highly praised. She deserves it.
However the lack of comedy, along with the tragedy, meant I couldn’t fall for it as much as the BBC version, unfortunately. And the ending was so unsatisfactory that it put a dampener on my feelings entirely. Which is a shame as there are a lot of great moments in the film which are definitely worth seeing. And there’s nothing like Dickens to put you in the Christmas spirit!

Score: 8.5/10

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