Drama about life at Rugby School in Victorian England. The headmaster is fair but not effective and life is brutal for the young boys because of bullying and it's consequences. The acting ...
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A particularly vivid and realistic portrayal of the emotional rupture between a father recently released from jail and his 12 year-old son, following a dark family tragedy that no one has strength enough to confront.
José Ramón Lafita,
Drama about life at Rugby School in Victorian England. The headmaster is fair but not effective and life is brutal for the young boys because of bullying and it's consequences. The acting and character development are good and the roles well cast. It's a good adaptation of the novel and was filmed at The Rugby School. Written by
There were at least two real historical events portrayed in the film, even though they were not in the book: 1) The headmaster closing down the school hunt; 2) The headmaster complaining that before he arrived at the school, there were no masters (teachers) on school grounds at night to keep the boys from bullying, otherwise causing trouble, or getting into mischief. See more »
In the time period the movie was set, modern orthodontic braces had not been invented and therefore weren't used, but one boy is clearly seen wearing them during the rugby scene. See more »
Over the holiday period I enjoyed Martin Clunes' "Mr Chips" and "Pollyanna", both recent ITV adaptations, so was looking forward to this offering. I have never read the book, so cannot judge how close it was to the original story, but did see the 1971 BBC series, which I remember enjoying immensely.
I think the problem may be that it tried to squeeze three hours of story into two hours, (less ad breaks) and there is a sense of non-resolution at the end. Ending on the funeral of the unfortunate Arthur leaves things weirdly up in the air. There is no sense of catharsis that there is with the well received 1971 version. It all seems to be made up of bits and pieces of story stuck together without any real narrative thrust.
I remember the BBC series ending with the sweeping reforms of pay and conditions for masters and boys introduced by Arnold, this being the culmination of his experience and his journey to restore Rugby to its former status as a place fit for "gentlemen and Christians". In this version this is dealt with over a brief conversation while walking with an elderly master, asking him to spend the nights on the premises.
Flashman's comeuppance is disappointingly glossed over, and the consequences of incurring the wrath of one of the school's major benefactors are not addressed.
The film looks good and the acting is competent (although I too, found the "reality" camera work intrusive), but I feel that, as I have already said, the problem may well may on the cutting room floor and the amount of footage that had to be excluded to fit into 1 3/4 hours.
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