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on 5 March 2008
Film review of Matilda (1996)
Matilda was originally written as a children¡¦s novel by Roald Dahl (tales of the unexpected) in 1988. His wry wit and humour certainly makes the book an enjoyable read and this humour still shows in Danny DeVito¡¦s movie version of the novel with a contrast of both American and English actors.
The film is about a young girl called Matilda played wonderfully by Mara Wilson (Miss Doubtfire). Though at the time, Wilson was fairly new to the acting scene; her acting skills still comes across as charming.
Another great actor in the film is the director, Danny DeVito (Mars Attacks), who also plays both the narrator and Matilda¡¦s father. DeVito is both clever and witty throughout the film and is guaranteed to make the viewer laugh.
The storyline consists of an extremely bright young girl living with her incredibly stupid, television addicted parents (Danny DeVito and Rhea Pearlman) and equally cretinous brother (Brian Levinson) who do not realise the sheer genius in Matilda and basically neglect her. To get rid of Matilda, the parents bundle her off to Crunchem elementary school governed by what Roald Dahl describes as a ¡¥rather eccentric and bloodthirsty member of the stag hounds¡¦ who is played by Pam Ferris (Darling Buds of May). Her rather sarcastic English humour contrasts brilliantly to the American actors.
The only flaw in the film is that in Matilda¡¦s home life, the atmosphere is in slight danger of becoming a little sit-com like. However, Danny DeVito¡¦s excellent narration skills solve this problem as he quotes lines from Roald Dahl¡¦s novel, making the film less American.
Overall, I think that Matilda is a lovely, heart-warming film to be enjoyed by adults and children alike. It is especially warming when Rusted Root¡¦s ¡¥Send me on my way¡¦ is played to accompany the narration fading into the end credits.
By Imogen Kupper