Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Book to Film Review: Great Expectations

About the film
Great Expectations is a 2012 film which is an adaptation of the Charles Dickins novel of the same name. The film was released at the cinema on 30th November and it has a run time of 128 minutes. Great Expectations is rated 12A.

Young Pip lives in the middle of nowhere with his sister and her husband who is a blacksmith. He’s always wanted to make something of himself, be someone better, but knows the chances are extremely slim. However, when Miss Havisham, a strange lady of higher standing, requests him to come to her house, he thinks his chances are looking up. Miss Havisham has a young daughter, Estella and Pip is instantly smitten. Pip hopes he will one day have a chance with Estella even though she is quite harsh and cold.

Later, when Pip has grown up and has finally come to terms with the fact that he is destined to be a blacksmith, he receives sudden and unexpected news that he is to become a gentleman in London with the help of an unnamed benefactor. Pip knows that this is his one chance to make it in the world and begins to become what he has always wanted to be.

Jeremy Irvine as Pip
Toby Irvine as young Pip
Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham
Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch
Robbie Coltrane as Mr. Jaggers
Jason Flemyng as Joe Gargery
Holliday Grainger as Estella
Helena Barlow as young Estella
Ewen Bremner as Wemmick
Sally Hawkins as Mrs. Joe
David Walliams as Uncle Pumblechook
Tamzin Outhwaite as Molly
Daniel Weyman as Arthur Havisham
Jessie Cave as Biddy

What I thought
Great Expectations has been done numerous times in adaptations although I haven’t seen any of them, neither have I read the book. Although I knew the simple idea of the plot, I didn’t know the story properly before seeing the film.

The two actors playing Pip were brilliant and I now know that they are brothers. Toby Irving plays the younger version of Pip while his big brother Jeremy plays the older Pip. As a young boy, Pip is brave although sometimes a bit careless with what he tries to get away with at home. Early on in the film, he helps out an escaped prisoner with some food and drink even though he knows it is probably a bad idea. Toby Irving is sweet and likeable as young Pip. Then, when Pip grows up, Jeremy plays the part even better. Older Pip is even more likeable, trying his best to do as much as he can with his life. He is also very easy on the eye which of course, made me like him more!

Some of my favourite parts of the film were when Pip goes to visit Miss Havisham and Estella. Helena Bonham Carter was definitely born to play the role of Miss Havisham, due to her eccentric and crazy personality. Dressed in a tattered old wedding dress and never letting sunlight into the house, Miss Havisham is a very interesting character and I loved her development throughout. However, the young girl playing Estella to begin with was hard to like, both her and the character. Helena Barlow has a tough demeanour and is cold in her interactions with Pip. While I know this is how the character is supposed to be, I couldn’t help but feel a dislike towards her. The older Estella, played by Holliday Grainger, was better but sticking with the character’s traits, she is still quite harsh and cold.

Great Expectations has a fantastic cast list and a fully British cast at that. David Walliams plays a completely different role to what he is used to by being cast as Uncle Pumblechook. Robbie Coltrane plays the solicitor Mr. Jaggers and one of my favourite actors of all time, Ralph Fiennes plays Magwitch, the escaped prisoner. The whole cast of this film helps to make it what it is and as good as it is.

The settings used in this film was also fabulous. Part of the film is set in the countryside, showing the simple way that life was lived there, but also some of the bigger houses and families. The setting is bleak and shows that life there is not the best and people have to get by with what and who they have. Then there is the London setting, which is a mix of dark, dank and dingy compared with the extravagant lives of gentleman. I completely loved the London setting and I think it perfectly showed the life and style of the time in which the film is set.

Overall, between cast, characters, plot and settings, this was a really good film. I thoroughly enjoyed the differences in pace and place, which kept things interesting and exciting while the cast was utterly thrilling to watch. A great film.

No comments:

Post a Comment