Great Expectations

Rated: PG-13

         Tobe totally honest I’m one of those people who have never read Great Expectations the book. It’s notthat I have anything against it; Dickens is just one of those classic authors Ihaven’t read much of. That being said, I do know that Dickens got paid by theword, which in turn makes some of his work a little thick to read. All I knewfor sure going into this movie was that Helena Baunum Carter is in it, andusually anything she’s in is worth seeing.

         Thebasic story is this: an orphaned boy, Pip, lives with his sister and herhusband. Somehow he comes into some money and becomes a socialite. Of coursewhomever gives him the money remains a mystery until nearly the end of themovie, I assume (if we ever find out, since I didn’t stay for the whole thing),but by then Pip has changed from a respectful young man to quite a confused aconflicted soul.

        Inmy view, the worst part of Great Expectations (the film) is theperformance of the main character, Pip, played by Jeremy Irvine. He seems to bea young up-and-comer with 4 movies in some form of production at the moment,but, as of now, his only other big role was in the 2011 movie War Horse. I really hope hisacting ability is improving with experience and age, because as far as GreatExpectations goes I’ve seen better performances put on by the localhigh-schoolers.

        Instark contrast to Jeremy’s performance is that of his (real-life) youngerbrother Toby. Toby plays young Pip and did a magnificent job. It is Toby’sperformance that makes you care about what happens to Pip in the first place,although, as I said, his older brother drops that ball immediately.

        Ithought that with the director of TheGoblet of Fire, Mike Newell, along with such big names as HelenaBaunum Carter, Jason Flemyng, Ralph Fiennes and Robbie Coltrane, that thiswould be one of those instant classics that’s worth seeing at least once. I wasreally hoping that at 2 hours and 8 minutes long all of the boring,non-essential parts had been cut, since the book is around 700 pages long. But,alas, I was disappointed! After about an hour I gave up on this one and leftthe theater for fear of falling asleep. GreatExpectations didn’t even live up to my modest expectations, but if youneed something to help you fall asleep at night, this one might just be it!

        Great Expectations is rated PG 13, was directed by MikeNewell and stars Toby Irvine, Jeremy Irvine, Helena Baunum Carter, JasonFlemyng, Ralph Fiennes and Robbie Coltran. It’s available now on Blu Ray, DVDand digital download.