TV Review: Great Expectations

 4 Stars


So, I’ve read a couple of Dickens novels, seen a few movie adaptations, but I’ve never read Great Expectations. Therefore, I can’t say whether it was an accurate adaptation.

The only thing I knew about Great Expectations before I saw it was that it was a Dickens novel and had some crazy lady named Miss Havershim who lived in her wedding dress. So about ten minutes in, I was like, what the crap am I watching? I was completely intrigued. And very confused.

But I didn’t care about the confusion. I was captivated by the cinematography, and when Pip finally made his way to Satis House, and met the ghostly Miss Havershim, I was fully committed to the story. The young actors playing Pip and Estella did an admirable job carrying the first episode of the mini-series, and Gillian Anderson was incredibly creepy as Miss Havershim. It was almost painful watching young Pip slowly fall into the manipulation of Miss Havershim. The audience knows she’s using him, but he has no idea. And then Douglas Booth appeared.

I’m not saying he’s the best actor ever or anything, but he’s pretty darn good. Not to mention that he’s uber attractive. I mean, just look at him:

ANWAY. He does quite a nice job of playing the dynamic character Pip, a young man struggling with his identity and where he fits in the world. I was actually fairly impressed with his acting, since I was generally expecting him to be mediocre. There seem to be more mediocre actors than excellent ones in this age group, so when I really good one comes along, I’m quite pleased. I thought he did a nice job handling the material.

Ever since seeing Harry Lloyd as Will Scarlet in the BBC Series Robin Hood (LOVE that show) I’ve LOVED him. I mean, I hated him on Game of Thrones. But I just pretend that wasn’t him since I loved him so much on Robin Hood. He gives an adorable performance as Pip’s friend Herbert Pocket; and did you know that he’s the great great great great (etc) grandson  of Charles Dickens? I thought that was pretty AWESOME.

I didn’t like adult Estella (the love interest) the first time she came on the screen. But I realized about half way through that she was quite a good actress. She’s so closed off from everyone because of what Miss Havershim has done to her and forced her to become, but you see moments of vulnerability when she’s with Pip; it was actually rather adorable.

There is so much going on in this story that if I was to address it all, this review would be much longer. There were twists I was definitely not expecting, and I would hate to give anything away. The mystery kept me guessing; I was deeply interested in the characters, the acting was all very well done, and the production quality is lovely. I highly recommend it for fans of period pieces. But be warned, it’s dark, depressing, and eerie, but ultimately triumphant.

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