Written by Ashley Pharoah (Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes), this two-part adaptation of the much-loved John Meade Falkner novel is set in the small Dorset village of Moonfleet. In the story, young John Trenchard (Aneurin Barnard - The White Queen) is desperate to join the local band of smugglers led by Elzevir Block (Ray Winstone - The Departed, Hugo). Together they embark on an adventure full of action, friendship, and humour, and hunt for a fabled lost diamond. Their journey takes them from 18th Century Dorset, to the jewellery quarter of The Hague, and on to a gripping, final sea voyage. Sophie Cookson joins the cast as John's first love, Grace, who is also the daughter of Moonfleet's anti-smuggling magistrate, Mohune, played by Ben Chaplin (Mad Dogs, Dorian Gray). Omid Djalili (Gladiator) appears as a diamond merchant, Aldobrand, and Martin Trenaman (The Inbetweeners) as the Turnkey.
I eventually lost count of how many times I read Moonfleet as a child. Therefore I was really looking forward to seeing this adaptation. However, I found the first half rather long-winded, leaving the second half rather rushed. For me it just lacked the excitement and momentum that the book always had.
Adaptations of books onto the big screen always tend to disappoint, but not in this case. Having recently read Moonfleet a few months ago, I found that this version is pretty much faithfully to the book. Anuerin Barnard was a bit weak, but Ray Winstone as Elziver Block was a delight to watch. Overall an enjoyable 90 minutes.
This was one of my favourite books when I was a lad and this adaptation is a travesty. Whoever is responsible have taken a classic, re-written beyond all recognition and turned it into a soap with cardboard characters and appalling dialogue; and I have seen better acting in school nativity plays. Absolute rubbish.
I read the book at school and remember the story; this modern remake is better than the original film; well worth viewing; about the Cornish ship wreckers years ago when they started fires on the shores to guide the ships onto the rocks and then plunder them.
The story is enjoyable, script runs smoothly and is played well and at times passionately by the main Actors Ray Winstone and Aneurin Barnard, yet subtitles are not provided: don't you have hearing disabled in the UK? Do you think subtitles are only needed for export? Extra content is also not provided, which makes it even more laughable for an official dvd since you can look for and find interviews and "behind the scene" content on Youtube, for free.