The Personal History of David Copperfield

The Personal History of David Copperfield ★½

Adaptation of the classic Dickens novel featuring the autobiographical tale of David Copperfield, told through a rich canvas of quirky characters and writing snippets.

FULL TEXT REVIEW - no spoilers
VIDEO REVIEW - just left the theater (no spoilers)

Characters. By far the strongest part of Dickens’ most personally beloved work comes through are his wide cast of compelling characters. My favorites include the loyal, servant Clara Peggoty, the underhanded, snaky Uriah Heep, the quirky, mental but lovable Mr. Dick and his glorious kites!

Kites with quotes and ideas and dreams flying in the breeze. Mr. Dick must “let them go” for the ideas will fill his head. It’s Mr. Dick who teaches David Copperfield some of the most valuable writing lessons.

This is more of a writer movie than for moviegoers.

Watching this is the cinematic equivalent of visiting a zoo with a bunch of fantastic, cool-looking animals that are all asleep. Not fun to watch. The words kept reverberating in my head, “please do something!” (besides fast talking).

It’s not a good adaptation, other than the characters, which made Dickens brilliant and revered as a writer. The filmmakers understood the appeal of Dickens epic work, but not the priority and overall vital goal: story. A film with parts that are shiny, curious and oddly functional, but the sum a vacant lot, neither entertaining or exciting. Not recommended.

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