Some very greedy and selfish relatives are all after the failing old Martin Chuzzlewits money. He is surrounded by all these sycophantic relatives that he truly despises whilst ill, each ...
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Some very greedy and selfish relatives are all after the failing old Martin Chuzzlewits money. He is surrounded by all these sycophantic relatives that he truly despises whilst ill, each one only interested in getting their hands on his estate.
Martin Chuzzlewit is perhaps not Dickens at his best but it has the ingredients that make him such a great author in the first place and it deserves to be better known. This 1994 adaptation is fabulous in all areas, one of the best Dickens adaptations of the past 25 years. The production values are splendidly evocative, not too bleak or too squeaky clean, and the adaptation is shot with natural skill. The dialogue is very Dickenesian, with its fair share of funny and affecting parts, while the story while leaving some things out is compelling and faithful in spirit and style to Dickens, respecting his work rather than disregarding it. The pace is just right, the drama is given time to breathe but there's no signs of tedium, while as to hope from a Dickens adaptation the characterisations are rich. Of the fine performances, Tom Wilkinson dominates, a brilliant performance and he hits the arrogant and hypocritical sides of Pecksniff spot on. Phillip Franks is incredibly moving as Tom Pinch. Paul Scofield's titular character is played with splendid dottiness and the much missed Pete Postlethwaite is superb, and we also have an unforgettably hilarious Elizabeth Spriggs and Keith Allen who has never been better. All in all, an underrated book given classic treatment. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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