Posted by Zak Hepburn
05. Mar, 2013
This newly released, lavish adaptation of Great Expectations has been commissioned to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Old Charlie Dickens himself. This version, the seventh big-screen take on this Dickens thirteenth novel – includes a troupe of the best of British actors, effectively lead by the steely gaze of lead Jeremy Irvine, playing the novel’s young hero, Pip.
As the Pip’s requisite Dickensian triumph-over-adversity journey unfolds, he encounters the criminal Magwitch (played with relish by Ralph Fiennes) along with the reclusive Miss Havisham (Helena Bonham Carter) – all three main thespians create a series of wonderful performances, creating their own mark on the much loved characters. Fine performances from Robbie Coltrane, Jason Flemyng and Holliday Grainger round out the cast.
Faithful and tastefully presented, without ever tarnishing the opulent legacy of David Lean’s effective 1946 version (which still stands today as a masterwork), director Mike Newell’s take on the eternal tale is simultaneously restrained and enjoyable.
Commissioned by the BBC, this update is a lively addition to the canon. Whilst it may not convert any new inductees into the Dicken-verse the film largely succeeds in its attempts to tastefully present a classic tale of redemption and forgiveness with measured performances and keen visual direction.
Great Expectations in now on National Release
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