Great Expectations Movie Analysis

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ALFONSO CUARON’S GREAT EXPECTATIONS

This adaptation replace the XIX century context to a modern XX century characters, costumes, background… The result is one of the most controversial adaptations of Dickens stories. This adaptation makes a classic closer to the contemporary public maintaining the most basic parts of the plot, so many parts of the story are deleted or simplified.
This adaptation of the Dickens novel was directed by Alfonso Cuarón, co-writing the screenplay with Mitch Glazer. Starring Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert De Niro, Anne Bancroft and Chris Cooper
This director wanted to place the story in modern times (the 90’s) starting by the settings “the marshes of England replaced by the Florida gulf.” The protagonist is
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Finn starts the movie telling that he is going to tell the story has he lived, not as it happened. The director concern was to make him credible modern character. The solution was to make Finn an artist, “replacing the arbitrary wealth of the nineteenth century with the twentieth-century equivalent: celebrity success. (…) Transforming the nineteenth-century Pip, a sensitive boy destined to life as a blacksmith, into Finn, a poor but happy contemporary boy with evident artistic talent, brings us to one of the crucial areas of this adaptation. The entire plot of Dickens’s Great Expectations revolves around the inability of people to change their station in life.” One of the biggest obsession of Dickens was to climb the social ladder.
But unlike Pip the modern “heroes” avoids passivity. “Cuarón had to walk a fine line between helping the young actor identify with his part and destroying the basic structure of the plot, which relies on Finn’s inability to make things happen on his own, whether Estella’s love or professional success.”
One of the biggest symbolism comes with the rain, rain symbolizes great changes, it is raining when Finn arrives to New York, it is raining when Finn gets drunk and declares his love to Estella, and of course in the sex
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