Anthony Trollope's tail of deception, greed and social climbing may be set in the 1800's but is as pertinent today as then. Augustus Mellmotte is a devil - complete with charm by the bucket, cunning and guile he arrives in London and sets about hosting stunning parties, forming limited companies and clawing his way into the best circles. The aristocracy may not approve of him - but they do approve of his apparant wealth and he has no shortage of backers when he announces his plans to build a railway in Mexico.
But Mellmotte is a fraudster of the highest order and those who look like unmasking him soon see the real man - cold, threatening, bullying. As Mellmotte sets his sights on Parliament his web of deceit begins to unravell and his house of cards looks set to crash down - taking many of the top British families who invested in him with it.
With lavish costumes and a flawless cast, this is a must-see DVD of a great book. If you enjoyed seeing David Suchet's recent portrayal of Robert Maxwell you may well believe that his performance as Mellmotte was instrumental in landing him that role!
This production seems to have attracted low ratings from those who have read the book - I haven't and coming to it with an open mind I think it is brilliant. I originally watched when it was first broadcast, and have just rented it from Amazon. I enjoyed it so much the second time that I've ordered a copy. One reviewer criticised the acting - were we watching the same thing? David Suchet, Matthew McFadyen & Shirley Henderson in particular are outstanding. Rather than portraying Marie as an imbecile (as one review suggests) I saw Marie as a young woman of great spirit and strong will. I've also been a fan of Matthew McFadyen since first seeing him in this. In addition there were some lovely touches of humour that had me laughing aloud. Well done to all involved. PS the extra feature on Trollope is also worth watching and explains some of the changes made from the book.