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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bleak trilogy of evil, 31 Jan. 2011
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This review is from: The Red Riding Trilogy [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Having read the books first, 1974, 1977, 1980 and 1983, I have to say it's an achievement in itself to bring anything like an accurate adaptation to the screen. The deep, dark frenetic performance of David Peace's epic quadrilogy could not be transferred wholescale to the screen; thus there is bound to be a shortfall and a compromise. If you haven't got Peace's excoriating prose in your head, what could you have instead?

For a start, some very good acting. Leads in each of the three films were variable: Andrew Garfield was excellent in 1974, Paddy Considine in 1980, was good. In the final film we saw David Morrissey come to the fore, but I was disappointed in what he did with, admittedly, a role that barely gave credence to his weak-kneed turncoat and which produced the betrayal of Peace's work that was the ending. On the whole, the acting was excellent - Warren Clarke's top-dog copper was wonderfully loathsome, as was Sean Bean's property magnate paedophile.

To sum up, it has to be appreciated for what it was able to do. It was inevitable that any attempt to portray the violent anarchy of the books must fail to do them justice. It is true, nevertheless, that the atmosphere, some of the smelly decrepit evil of the books did come through, all praise to Tony Grisoni, who did not compromise too much on the story-lines (until the very end). I would much rather have this trilogy in this format, with these actors and directors, than not have the thing at all.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Apr 2011, 11:01:22 BST
Sorry, but I hated it. I didn't compare it to anything, honest(!) - but I found it pretentious, silly and jarring. With a cast like that, the failure has to be in the writing.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Apr 2011, 11:28:31 BST
Last edited by the author on 5 Apr 2011, 11:29:37 BST
Eileen Shaw says:
I guess it's relative. I was in my late teens when The Yorkshire Ripper was operating, but I remember vivdly the feeling of panic if I was kept late at work and knew I'd have to walk up a long, dark ginnel from the bus stop. I used to run! That period of time has remained in my memory and I found the film had exactly that kind of sleazy fearful tone to it throughout. The first in the trilogy was the best and I would agree the last film doesn't have much to recommend it.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Apr 2011, 11:57:51 BST
Like the word "ginnel" - don't blame you for running. Yes, the first was the best - I'm not sure it wouldn't have been better done as two films, or even one long one.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Apr 2011, 12:17:03 BST
Eileen Shaw says:
Yes they could stick to just the first two films and not have the young reporter killed - can't remember the actor's name but I thought he was riveting in it. If only they'd consulted us first!
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Eileen Shaw
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: Leeds, England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,011