Great Expectations (2012) Review

An adaptation of Charles Dickens tale Great Expectations has a fantastic cast. Pip is an orphan who was taken in by his wicked sister after the death of their parents. His kindness one day changes his life forever, when he is suddenly made a gentleman with help from an unknown benefactor.

The performances from the entire cast are fantastic in keeping this tale going, as the running time is over two hours that is something that is very important in a film like this. I have not read the book or even seen any other adaptations of it either, which yes I know is quite shocking really but at school we focused on Oliver Twist. A film like this always manages to bring out a brilliant British cast.

The rags to riches story keeps us thinking throughout as we attempt to guess who the benefactor is who took Joe from life as a blacksmith to London to live as a gentleman. This leads Pip to thinking that he will eventually be able to get Estella to be with him. The girl he has been in love with for years since he was asked to Miss Havisham’s house as boy.

I will admit that at one point I was wondering what was going on and why certain things were happening in the film but it eventually all clicks together and suddenly makes much more sense when you realise how interlinked all the characters are. A few twists and turns and moments which make you wonder how you didn’t spot something to begin with.

Rags to riches tale which possibly helps us show that having money is not always everything in life. Is having all that money and being a gentleman really how Pip expected it to be when it was something he really wanted from being a boy? Probably not as things never work out as you would want them too. This leads us to wonder if he still really wants it or not, especially when we see him arguing and changing his opinions on his friend Joe.

It helps to show that money really does change you no matter how hard to try against it, you cannot help but be consumed by it all. Magwitch has the biggest impact on Pip’s life, the convict who escaped and Pip helped by taking him food and drink. This all unfolds years later as he comes back into Pip’s life, it seems he always saw Pip as his boy after that day.

A film which really is strong and has such a brilliant message just showing that Dickens tales can still be relevant in this day and age. At times I could not help but think the cast has a slight Harry Potter reunion going on! But I really did enjoy this film a lot more than I thought I would after the first 15/20 minutes. I don’t imagine this one pulling in massive crowds but at a 3:30pm showing on a Sunday afternoon in its second week or cinema screen was pretty full, an older audience for this type of film. Surely this is when schools should be having class trips? Especially if they are reading a Dickens novel!

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