Great Expectations was first published between 1860 – 1861 and like most of Dickens work has been transformed onto stage and screen.
Great Expectations being no exception with another film of the story with Helena Bonham-Carter (Now OBE) taking the lead role of Miss Havisham, however our interest lies in the BBC Christmas adaptation with the great Gillian Anderson.
The story being a tale of snobbery, class, love and hate.
It was a lavish production being shot in what seemed pastel colours which for me were very effective giving the whole production an aged feeling. Being an adaptation a few liberties were taking like the brothel scene, the kiss in the water and off the shoulder dresses at the dance…it seems very unlikely that any lady would present herself in public in the early 1800’s (the story beginning in 1912).
Anyway, mere trifles as they say!
Ray Winstone was a fabulous scary looking Abel Magwitch, the escaped convict, David Suchet gave a sharp and knowing interpretation to Jaggers but the older Pip left me feeling a little unconvinced, he seemed to lack the depth I would expected (but was the teen icandy for the mums) and Estella was just not as spiteful and mean as she should have been and left Miss Havisham the more attractive woman of the piece.
The Sets were wonderfully done as you come to expect with the BBC. The Marsh scenes were filmed at Tollesbury Wick Marshes in Essex that have actually remained quite unchanged from that era.
So is it worth a watch?
Yes but with all ‘adaptations’ we can’t get a little too purist about the book can we?
For me it plays out well and is an interesting interpretation of the book, there are a few errors but for the sake of such an adaptation they can be over looked…
I wonder what Dickens would’ve made of it!