Unusual Trollope adaptation, which almost succeeds
This latest period drama, written by Andrew Davies, takes a minor and rather unusual Trollope novel and applies the full Davies/BBC costume drama treatment. The sets are sumptuous, whether in a London still with fields and footpaths, the cathedral city of Wells or Italy. The acting is excellent, with outstanding performances by some of the older generation of British actors - notably Anna Massey, Geoffrey Palmer, Bill Nighy and Geraldine James.
But the novel itself is not the usual Trollope of politicians and clergymen (although both are featured). It is rather a psychological study of a man consumed by jealousy, and its effects on all around him. The problem in the 21st century is that the bases for the jealousy, the responses and the social mores which shape them, are so deeply rooted in Victorian England's peculiar class structure that they are hard to comprehend, and even harder to sympathise with. So that this viewer is irritated rather than involved, wanting to ask "what is all the fuss about?" But the director, writer and cast keep the action moving briskly through the four hours of the mini-series, and it is only in the final hour, when melodrama turns farcical, that the irritation overcomes the involvement.
12 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?