Tuesday 18 June 2013

Movie Review: Great Expectations (2013)

So I'm a huge fan of the classics, and Charles Dickens stories are some of the best. This movie however. THIS. MOVIE.

Title: Great Expectations
Director: Mike Newell
Genre: Drama
Release Date: 7 January 2013
Warnings: Nothing really. Some fighting scenes and a lot of death and ew the burning up scene was gross and mildly horrifying.


Based on the classic novel by Charles Dickens, Pip the orphan boy is raised from the life of a blacksmith to a London gentleman after coming into some money from a mysterious benefactor. He struggles to learn to be a gentleman to win the heart of the cold, cruel Estella and her adoptive mother, Miss Havisham. 


So shoot me, but I've only watched one other version of this movie, which was a BBC production. Actually, this one is a BBC production too. But I don't think the last one was as truly AWESOME as this one. 

This version did what a lot of novel adaptations, especially of dreary classics, fail to do. It actually followed the book. It was really accurate save for a few long monologues by Pip about his devotion to Estella (he never did that in the book). It even ended the same, more or less, without giving the viewer false hope about the outcome of the story. (By the way, Pip doesn't end up with Estella.) However, it does assume that you already know what goes on in the book, because they do leave a few things for you to assume. For example, they expect you to know Pip's intentions when coming home near the end. It's guessable, but it generally assumes that you know. Because of this, it passed through the plot quickly and concisely, touching on all the major parts of the book without missing anything significant. 

I loved Jeremy Irvine as Pip. He was a classic Pip, not remarkable, but he played it decently enough. What I loved was Ralph Fiennes portrayal of Abel Magwitch. It was emotional and you can tell he put a lot into this role, crawling around and rolling in the mud and stuff. And I cried at the end, when he died, okay? CRIED. Helena Bonham Carter was a pretty good Miss Havisham, better than the previous one certainly, convincing me at least of Miss Havisham's tragic tale enough for me to believe that she could have spent all those years in that house. Wonderful.

But seriously, could her death scene have been any more melodramatic? And did that have to show her burned, charred remains as she uttered her last words? *cries* Seriously. That part was mildly disgusting.

Holliday Grainger was alright, but at the risk of sounding superficial, THAT GIRL HAS A SCARY-ASS FACE. She was a great Estella, especially since they followed the book to almost direct quotations. Good. Me likes accuracy. And she's gorgeous. Totally. And can we talk about how adorable the young versions of the characters were?? Especially young Pip. Pretty. Very pretty.

And the movie followed the descriptions from the books pretty well, playing up the wide shots of the London streets and the countryside, and Miss Havisham's mansion. The costumes were also wonderful and I loved the symbolism they used in the characters' dress.

So generally, wonderful movie, definitely one of the better adaptations of this book.

Grade: A+ :D Awesome. For fans of the classics. 

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