Friday, May 18, 2012

Great Expectations

"Great Expectations" is another filmization of Charles Dickens' cherished coming-of-age story, this edition made for the "Masterpiece Classic" series. The familiar story tells of orphan Pip, raised by his jaded sister and kindhearted blacksmith uncle, who assists a convict on the British Moors, becomes a playmate to Estella (as well as puppet for her evil guardian Miss Havisham), and finally receives his placement in London society by way of a mysterious benefactor. This version of the classic story is perhaps the most inclusive (I haven't read it, sigh), which may also be the reason as to why its one of the least developed, with too much territory being covered in too little time and too many characters not being given their full due. I did like some of the different takes though, such as a more sympathetic Miss Havisham, as played by Gillian Anderson, and a darker, more brooding version of Pip. Ray Winstone is pretty good as well as the snarling convict who is shown benevolence by the young hero. This version  of "Great Expectations" does have more than a few powerful moments, but for the definitive film version of the classic still refer to David Lean's 1946 masterwork.