Arthur Ransome’s book was never part of my childhood (we were more Enid Blyton’s “Famous Five”!) but, at some stage in my life, this children’s novel became a well-loved and enduring English classic for me. So, this afternoon (on the Watershed’s last day of screening), Moira and I went to see Philippa Lowthorne’s film adaptation. It was a slightly surreal experience because (given it was children’s film!) we were probably the only adults there not accompanied by children (Iris, Rosa and Ursa all being on holiday).
It proved to be a very agreeable film – albeit without
quite the “magic” of the stage version we saw at Bristol’s Old Vic Theatre in
January 2015. For me, I was a little disappointed that it didn’t quite have the
“feel” of Ransome’s 1929 book… in terms of innocence, fantasy and adventure. I
also thought that the film tried too hard (and rather failing in my eyes?) to
make the “baddies” more sinister and bizarre than Ransome had intended.
I was also somewhat taken aback by the following description
in the Watershed programme about the cast “combining brilliantly to do justice
to this beloved story – one that will have adults melting into laughter,
teenagers grinning with sheepish self-knowledge at the eternal lure of
puckishness, and young ones swept up in the thrill”.
I, for one, wasn’t
quite melting into laughter… but it was a very enjoyable film nevertheless.
PS: I was also amused
to note that the film changed Titty’s name to Tatty!
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