The Personal History of David Copperfield
Watched The Personal History of David Copperfield today and quite liked it. I haven't read the original book by Charles Dickens. But I went and read the story online after watching the film. I could get a sense of how good an adaptation the film was. It passes my test for a good movie - it should linger with me after watching it. This can happen only if a film is true to itself.
It is directed by Armando Ianucci who is a master of the political satire (In the thick of it, The death of stalin, Veep). But this film is quite unlike anything he has done before. Satire, by its nature, is cynical. But this film has none of it. Dev patel is earnest, full of heart, and he is supported by an amazing cast including big names like Tilda Swilton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi and Ben Whishaw. Thinking about it now, I don't think I have disliked any film that has had Ben Whishaw in it.
There is a lot of intentional casting decisions that give it a feel of a modern theatrical play. Even though the film is cinematic in its presentation, one gets the feeling of having watched a play staged on globe theatre. The comic scenes and timing do have the Ianucci stamp on it, and it is an adaptation that brings the story to modern audiences.