An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to compete.
A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.
Why? This question arises for me every time someone feels inclined to spend a fortune to reinvent the wheel, or to capture a modern feel and inject it, like a youth serum, into a classic tale.
This film says nothing that has not already been said in the story; apples to oranges? Fair enough. Let us compare apples to apples; save modern technology, nothing whatsoever is made to eclipse the 1946 film of David Lean. The casting has been matched in almost every way to the Lean film, even the character of Jaggers has Robbie Coltrane (excellent as he is) walking in the footsteps of Francis L. Sullivan.
The one glaring example of miscasting is Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham, a character which at times comes very close to resembling a remnant from a hammer horror of the 1960s.
The film looks good, the feel is right (so it should be, it's more than 65 years since David Lean shot what remains the definitive version) but the story too often misses the beat, as it attempts to force its characterisations upon the audience, rather than allow the brilliance of Dickens and of so many fine artists to weave a tapestry of magic.
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