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Film Review: Little Dorrit - BBC Mini Series (based on 'Little Dorrit' by Charles Dickens)

Updated on January 19, 2012
Little Dorrit Mini-Series
Little Dorrit Mini-Series | Source

Film Review: Little Dorrit Mini Series (1998)

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of finishing what I now regard as being the greatest television mini-series production that I've ever watched - Little Dorrit. This BBC production brings the novelised version by Charles Dickens to life with it's exceptional story line, acting and setting. For those of you who aren't a fan of the Victorian Era, I highly recommend you still take the time out to give it a go and make your own conclusion. The mini-series spans for 14 Episodes, each one of them bringing about entertainment and intrigue along the way. The beauty of this story, and movie alike, is that just like the other works of Charles Dickens, there is much to look forward to, with each segment contributing just that tad bit more to the entire story and it's not until the concluding sequences that the reader, or viewer in this case, is able to truly appreciate the complete work of the author where the true identity and position of the characters are finally revealed.

As a film production, the setting and characters explore elements of trust, intrigue, love, romance, envy, greed and much more. Throughout the movie, the viewer is left wondering what will happen next, and more importantly, what are the intentions of the characters in the story. We're able to witness villains, as well as passive heroes and heroines alike. The focus draws on the lives of the Dorrit family as well as those who come into their lives whether it be as an act of goodwill or terror while exploring the hardships of poverty and the vices of greed. The story centres around iArthur Clennam, a man who offers generosity and goodwill towards the Dorrit family while having his own dilemmas and personal family conflicts to deal with; Mrs Clennam, who lives the life of a hermit, shows little love for her son Arthur, and who is confined to the space of her dwellings along with the many secrets she holds in her mind and residence; Mr. Dorrit, who lives a life of sadness and loneliness in the confines of the Marshalsea debtors' prison until he's exposed to a life amongst the wealthy and greedy; Amy Dorrit, the supporting daughter of Mr Dorrit and key character of the story who's always looking out for the well being of her father and family while being torn between her own love affairs and heartbreaks; Mr Pancks, the landlord and debt collector in the Marshalsea debtors' prison; Rigaud, the villain and murderer who's out to discover the secrets of the Dorrit family; as well as a vast range of characters, all who make the story one of intrigue and suspense.

Without giving away too much insight into the story, I'd recommend viewers who appreciate the novels and works of Charles Dickens to definitely not pass up the opportunity of watching this BBC television production of one of his most outstanding works. Although his novels may appear complex and a tiring read to most readers, the movie production is able to enhance the views of those who had trouble digesting the jargon and old English text found in the novel. I recommend this movie production for people of all ages, however, children will most likely not be able to appreciate or draw the same intrigue as older audiences.

Overall, I rate the BBC television as being a 10/10. The only downsides that I faced during my viewing was that of the final episode, where the plot was summarised quite rapidly, leaving me thinking about the significance of certain aspects of the characters and story, as well as which characters were affected by the final discoveries and resolutions. Overall though, after taking out the time to do further investigations and viewing, this was no longer an issue. I've received similar reviews that this is definitely a remarkable piece of work and through perseverance comes appreciation so I recommend everyone who comes across this mini series to definitely take the time out and watch it all the way through as well as recommending it to family and friends.

My next mini-series viewing will be the BBC production of Bleak House (2005) starring Gillian Anderson based on the novel by Charles Dickens which explores the injustices of the legal system in the Victorian Era and Dickens' own views and insights based on legal battles of his own during his life.

How do you rate the BBC mini-series film production of Little Dorrit out of 10

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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i saw it, its good.

      Good description

      i liked it


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