Vanity Fair with a touch of the East
A rather sumptuous and glitzy production of one of my favourite English classics, this version has a touch of oriental spice about it. Not surprising, however as it was directed by the Indian film director Mira Nair. She seizes every opportunity that the novel's text presents, to hone in on this flavour: Sambo, the black footman becomes an oriental in tribal dress and the infamous Vauxhall Gardens, known for street theatre and diverse entertainments, is transformed into a dreamy, psychadellic-type party amid flowers and sunshine, and 'Bollywood' background music. Even more daring is the scene in which Becky and a troup of titled English ladies, perform before the King as belly-dancers. One wonders what the author would have made of it? Born in Calcutta, Thackerary may well have loved it. American Reece Witherspoon, cast as Becky Sharp, delivers a perfect English accent and acts well, it's just disappointing that the script makes Becky too likeable because it leaves out so much of her character that is essential to the story, for example her selfishness and lack of empathy. We are presented with a heroine out to achieve success and social standing for her husband and child when really she is completely self-centred and manipulates everyone to her own advantage. Becky instinctively dropped anyone who became no longer useful, so seeing her supportive to Amelia throughout the film is ludicrous, but no doubt this 'friendship' was deliberately maintained to keep the viewer in sympathy with Becky. So much of the satire with which the book is abundantly laced has been ignored as well as opportunities for big dramatic scenes denied in this film version but even so it's still quite enjoyable, despite some of the acting being unconvincing (the Crawleys, Amelia, Dobbin). The reason I bought this particular dvd was to see how it compared with the BBC 2-disc (2008) version staring Natasha Little and a powerful supporting cast. The BBC version is superlative.Read full review
I really like this film its an excellent costume drama look forward to watching it again and again.It,s quite a sad story and you find yourself rooting for the main character all the way through.
This was a highly enjoyable film. Obviously condensing a long novel into a film some cuts must be made, but this didn't detract from my enjoyment. I shall doubtless watch it again and it was a bargain at 99p.
Good american attempt-leaves out a lot of the novel!
This is a good american attempt at a classic adaptation. To be fair to them the novel is very long and complex. They keep the basics of the narrative and Reese is a charming Becky Sharp but the finer details are missed (along with whole characters and plot lines). This is a good grounding for a gcse study of the novel but would be too basic for anything above. It is however light hearted and enjoyable viewing for all the family
My Daughter loved the film, very well made
very good film, great cinamaphotography, great story, my daughter loved it to bits, has watched it at least 5 times