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To the Ends of the Earth [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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The story involves maturation of Edmund Talbot, an aristocrat who takes ship from England for Sydney, Australia, to take up a post sponsored by his influential Godfather. It's also the story of a group of people of disparate backgrounds who are jumbled into the cramped confines of an elderly, leaky man o' war, with all of the effluvia of 50-year-old ballast and the constant suppuration of slimy bilge water, and packed humanity crammed between the decks. Finally, it's a story about class and status, and how it begins to break down in the pressure cooker of isolation. Captain Anderson, a fiery naval post-captain (one wonders whose bad side he'd got on to get an onerous assignment like this) excellently interpreted by Jared Harris, bears upon his shoulders the task of getting this creaky old tub absolutely packed with humanity the 15,000 miles and projected 9 months sailing to Sydney Cove. It is no easy task, and one of the real stars of this movie is the almost mordant stubbornness of Anderson and his officers and crew to overcome the odds in keeping everyone alive, hopefully, to the end.Read more ›
Script-writer Leigh Jackson ("Warriors"), who tragically died before the project was finished, efficiently extracted the best dialogue from the books, streamlining the plots very effectively for film. The cast are uniformly excellent, but Benedict Cumberbatch is simply outstanding in the lead. Edmund embarks on more than the physical journey of his life during his year aboard the unnamed ship. That we are able to trace every subtle movement of his emotional development is due to this actor's incredible technique and intelligence. Also superb are Victoria Hamilton as Miss Granham, and Daniel Evans as the Rev. Colley, both beautifully judged performances that light up the screen. Joanna Page (Stacey from "Gavin and Stacey") makes a delightful Miss Chumley. In fact this is casting at its absolute best: Capt. Anderson, Charles Summers, Devrel, Benet, Pike, Brocklebank, Zenobia, Sir Henry... all superbly brought off the pages of Golding's masterpiece!
Costume, sets, direction are all top notch. And I recommend the short "Making of" extra that comes with Disc 2. Great work, BBC!!
The production values are second to none. You will find yourself totally absorbed in the drama that unfolds as you go from being exasperated by Talbot's thoughtlessness and unthinking cruelty to feeling protective of him and proud of the man he becomes by the end. Golding's first book in the trilogy on which this story is based is ostensibly the journal of Talbot and as a result his character is with you the entire time during this film adaptation. Consequently, one cannot help but be amazed at Benedict Cumberbatch's stamina. He is in every scene and it must have been a punishing filming schedule and yet he succeeds in making what is initially an unsympathetic character into someone you are wholeheartedly rooting for. In truth there is not a bad performance in the entire production. The script, direction and production values are second to none.
I strongly urge you to purchase this DVD, you will be doing yourself a favour. I'm only sorry I can't discover it all other again and come to it new too - you lucky things!
The story is about a man from high society, Edmund Talbot (Benedict Cumberbatch), who embarks on a ship that will take him from England to Australia, to meet up with his influential godfather. Clearly he has never been on such a voyage, or mingled with the "common" folks. His godfather has ordered him to observe everyone on board and to keep a diary about it and so Edmund does. As the long journey across the sea progresses (the voyage will last approximately 6 months), we are spectators of what happens when you put a lot of people with different opinions, social status, and quite a bit of booze in a really cramped space.
What I found so good about it, is that it takes you on a rollercoaster of such a wide range of emotions, and that you really do feel like you're trapped with those people for a long time on that ship, desperate to get your feet back on land again.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was very disappointed with this DVD .I thought it was going to be a lovely film. It was very crude, I didnt watch it all, I had to turn it off and got rid of it.Published 3 months ago by MERLIN
Dense, accurate for period and very clever and gritty. A first class cast in a typically well made BBC period piece.Published 5 months ago by Ann McCabe
a engrossing film that makes you feel that you are on board the ship with the main character. the injustices that occur are tackled very well. Read morePublished 8 months ago by mary campbell
Story of the journey to Australia, and the happenings on the ship during the very long voyage.
Close proximity encounters by the passengers. Read more
Recent years have given us two films that really depict life in a Napoleonic warship in a realistic way. Read morePublished 14 months ago by jim honeybun