15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A perfect adaptation,
This review is from: Any Human Heart [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I was a bit worried about this adaptation. Any Human Heart is a wonderful book, one of my favourite ever. But I always thought filming it would be too hard. Making films of novels always involves cutting out more than you leave in and this novel has so much going on all the time that it was impossible to imagine how it could be dramatised and stay intact.
But it was, and it did. It's a good thing that William Boyd wrote the script because anyone else would, I'm sure, have butchered it. But he has turned it into an elegant new thing - the same people, the same stories, but told in a new way which works on screen.
It's also a good thing it was done for TV. Four long episodes were barely enough, squeezing it into a two hour movie would have been impossible.
The acting, direction and cinematography are all superb and quite bold. This is a drama which creates its own style and atmosphere with occasionally unusual framing and focus. Perhaps not to everyone's taste (which might explain some of the critical sniping) but certainly to mine. The decision to use three actors for the main character works in part because we are constantly reminded that this is a memoir, an acting out of memories. The ensemble around them are also excellent and throw themselves fully into realising complex characters with, sometimes, little time and few lines before the plot moves on. Jim Broadbent in particular is moving and subtle, Gillian Anderson is a revelation for anyone who remembers Agent Scully.
Buy the DVD and luxuriate in it. It's a real indulgence to have this much time with the dramatisation of a single book, and a pleasure that it is also the work of the original author. This sort of thing normally goes horribly wrong (does anyone remember the film of "Bonfire of the Vanities"? Probably not, and be thankful). And if you haven't read it, buy the book. Perfect for bedtime.