It bears little resemblance to the excellent BBC version of some years ago.For one thing; the main character(Becky Sharp) has been
sanatised out of all proportions. Indeed; it would appear she's been elevated to the rank of Sainthood by the film's Director!
Most of the male leads have little to do except appear as "male totty" for the ladies to admire. The actor playing Captain Dobbin
(a pivitol character) gives a very wooden performance throughout the film.
I found the best way to approach the film, was to view it as a
big budget version of a Catherine Cookson story.Indeed; the first
15 minutes of the film give this feeling(including the flowery
musical soundtrack)....so: going on this assumption; the movie is
a great vehicle for Reece Witherspoon(who outacts everyone else).
The settings are elaborate and very colourful. There's a running
Indian theme thoughout the film which is reflected in some of the
costumes...I felt that the movies strongest point was way it assaults your eyes..
And of course,it has a happy ending (it actually has 2 happy endings!). As I said before, If you like Catherine Cookson you'll
love this film.
But: if it's the story of Vanity Fair you want,read the book or
get the BBC version.
Good points first -- beautiful! Visual stunner of a film, thanks to the director of photography, set designer, costume designer, make-up people... anyone who had anything to do with the visuals gets a thumbs up.
Bad points -- the director plays it safe and, therefore, everything is boring. This is supposed to be a stinging story about one of literatures most notorious social climbers. This woman is supposed to be the original material girl, serious bad news, out for herself, character you love to hate and hate that you love her. But not in this glossy film. Reese is sweet as pie and they had to change the ending so that we can have a Hollywood/Disney photo op to close out on. Ugghhh!
Well, I hear there is a BBC version out there that I might give a try.
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