Updated: Apr 9
In 2018 I had the pleasure of working for this warm witted movie. I was approached by the Location Manager to find a factory in London for a bottle making scene for director Armando Iannucci. I visited the set at the time, masking in the detail and dust of Charles Dickens 1850's novel come to life. Little did I know 2 years ago, how wonderfully entertaining this movie would turn out to be.
I have written about Dev Patel recently in posts, and to be frank, I was worried that my love for this reacuring character would become tiresome and predictable. I was ever so wrong. Armando picked him perfectly for his romance, his aggression, and his tailored joy to see life in a different way than others. The script & narrative, adapted by the book, is played out so well with the 'chapter' title scenes, reminding me of a Wes Anderson film. Hugh Laurie and Tilda Swinton were marvellous in their acting. I saw so many similarities to our modern day world portrayed by the film, with Hugh Laurie character 'Dick' suffering from a Mental Illness, to the factory work reflecting poverty in the Middle East, and Steerforth's royal relationship with his Mother reminding me of Queen Elizabeth and Harry. The comedy was hilarious, and there was something so playful about the movie that left me smiling on my walk out of Screen on the Green in London for hours.
There were moments of the script I feel could have been decreased in the desire to not lose the audience. The relationship between the evil Uriah Heep, taking control of Benedict Wong's declining company, was rather slow and prolonging. It also changed the genre for me quickly to 'Pantomime', and I snuck off to the toilet in the aim to not foresee screams of 'he is behind you' on my return.
We have seen many directors challenge scripted comedy in period drama's in recent years, like 'The Favourite' by Yorgos Lanthimos. However, I have found this one by Armando topped the charts. Along with some impeccable acting, I found the boring factor at a near to none. If you like silly sarcastic humour and warm tales, reminding you to overcome challenges life throws your way, then settle in with a glass of vino for this one.