Tauranga’s Nick Scott comments on this Armando Iannucci written and directed interpretation of the classic Charles Dickens’ novel, David Copperfield.
The Personal History of David Copperfield. It’s one of those films where you need to be thinking all the time.
It is based on David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. David Copperfield was Dickens’ autobiography. He did not like writing about himself so he invented the character of Copperfield to tell his story.
This film is different from the book. It doesn’t follow the original story in the usual way. Much of the narrative of the film is unexpected. And, it is one of those films where the audience needs to be observant and thinking all the time to get the most out of it.
In some ways this film could be described as an art film. The director, Armando Iannucci is a satirist, well known for his work on television, and this comes through in the humour in the film. The film was advertised by some sources as a comedy. It is not, but it has comical scenes.
The cast is fantastic, Copperfield is played by the seasoned film actor Dev Patel (whom you may also have seen in the television comedy The Kumars”). Patel’s performance is fantastic. You’ll also see Tilda Swinton, Ben Whishaw and Hugh Laurie. If I went back and saw it a second time I would watch the performances of these other characters as they tend to be overshadowed by Dev Patel, He cannot be blamed because the script favours the lead character. When you see this film, keep an eye on what the supporting characters do, especially Tilda Swinton and Hugh Laurie. It can easily be missed which would rob the movie of its worth.
I must admit that while I was watching I was looking for faults. Half an hour later, I realised what a good film it really was.
Nick’s has generously been provided admission to films shown by the Rialto Cinema, Tauranga. Check here for what’s on when at the Rialto https://www.rialtotauranga.co.nz/
Nick Scott Nick Scott has a B.A from The University of Waikato where he studied film under Sam Edwards. Nick has retained a keen interest in cinema. He studied Te Reo Maori at Te Wananga O Aotearoa part-time for 3 years and then from 2014 to 2016 Nick collaborated in writing “The Traveller’s guide to Maori Place Names”. Nick’s novel “Temple’s Job’ on ARTbop WORDS publishes on the first Saturday of the month – August brings Chapter 3.
An interview with the Director Armando Iannucci during the filming of the project: https://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/sight-sound-magazine/interviews/armando-iannucci-personal-history-david-copperfield-casting-modern-dickens-adaptation
Wikipedia has a lengthy and detailed summary of the novel David Copperfield – it’s interesting even if you’ve read the novel itself. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Copperfield