Back to the Secret Garden (2001)
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This film gives both young and old the idea of continuity. The restoration of the garden by yet another child's faith is something to be respected.
One could see some of the similarities of Lizzie to Dickon from the very first glimpse of the child... and like Mary before her, Lizzie had to 'steal' the garden before she was able to do good with it.
Like the first one, it will remain on my favorite 'watch list' for a long time to come.
When Mary leaves, she announces that Penelope will be able to go the United States to have an operation she can only get there, and that an orphan from the United States will be chosen to take Penelope's place while she is gone.
Once in the United States, Mary visits an orphanage outside Washington, D.C. and finds several children interested in going to England. But Mary chooses Lizzie, a loner who loves taking care of the garden.
After Martha is on her own, she looks and looks and can only see ivy covering the stone wall. So she has an opening made for a new door.
Lizzie arrives at Misslethwaite and immediately learns to break the rules. She loves the secret garden and sneaks in, and she discovers that door Martha can't find from the outside. The animals in the garden love Lizzie and gather around her. Martha soon realizes Lizzie was meant to care for the garden and puts her in charge of the key.
There is the usual boy-girl romance and love-triangle story one might expect here, and more breaking of rules, with appropriate consequences.
The big question: will Lizzie be able to make the garden what it once was?
I probably watched a movie called "The Secret Garden" but don't have any memory of it. Whether it was one of the great classics I can't say, but that's what I recall. This sequel wouldn't rank that high, but it is still very good. and if I can't remember the original, I have no problems with anything that might not be consistent with that movie.
Joan Plowright gives her usual wonderful performance. There are many other very good performances here. Camilla Belle starts off slow but eventually shows talent matching that of the others.
This is a movie kids can watch, but it has plenty of adult content (the good kind, meaning intelligent writing) which their parents can enjoy too. In fact, one doesn't even need to have kids to watch this.
I am curious as to whether some of the expressions used by the kids were actually in people's vocabularies back in 1946. Nevertheless, today's kids will like hearing them.
It's a good family film.
This sequel has one big problem however; They first should have sad down an watch the original movie and than make a story line for this sequel.
"the secret garden" is a great story that leaves enough leads to follow and make a great sequel. So why the vanishing door and the key which is thrown in the lake but suddenly sticks in the door? Is it a sequel on the secret garden or is it a sequel on Harry Potter? This really ruined it for me Conclusion: the story line is not bad an the filming and atmosphere of the movie is excellent and if they would have followed the original movie it would have received much better critics from me. As it is: 6 out of 10.
I have the original DVD of the original film, but for the moment have the sequel above as a TV recording. It is my intention, as with the Railway Children, and other films in our collection to have the original DVD 'set' to add to our growing collection of classic films.
If you have not seen this sequel for fear of it not being as good as the original, then rest assured, if you liked the original, you'll like this version too.