For fans of DuMaurier's novel, this adaptation is not bad. It's definitely superior to the awful "classic" 1939 film version, which bears little resemblance to the novel. But the production more faithful to the book is the 1980s miniseries with Jane Seymour, Trevor Eve, Patrick McGoohan (as Joss), John McEnery and Billie Whitelaw. Unfortunately, libraries don't seem to have it, but I just watched it on Youtube.
I have not read the book - comments say it is better. This is a British adaptation - good - not outstanding. I know Hitchcock made a film of the same book. I think I need to borrow that one so I can compare.
A dreadful, unbelievable story full of endless, forced drama trying to pretend it's so much greater than it really is. (Why not just kill the two people who are "making" them all murder so many innocent others - instead of living such terrified, drunken, brutal, wife beating, remorse-filled, "haunted" lives - and be done with it?? Really.)
And the ending is even more stupid.
A stream of unlikable, unredemptive, unbelievably idiotic (and stereotyped) characters, including the heroine who turns down a decent life and a decent man (not once, but twice!) for an "alternate" life with a petty criminal that only a fool would take (good luck when the kiddies start coming...).
The only thing I "enjoyed" watching was the landscape...and the heroine's dresses being repeatedly soaked through with mud from foot to waist after tramping around the soggy moors - and then being pristinely spotless the next time she's seen wearing them.
Don't bother with this one, it's just annoying.
Just compare the gorgeous 19 year-old Maureen O'Hara from Hitchcock's 1939 movie, with the rough-voiced, constantly brooding Jessica Brown Findlay... Not fair, is it?!
The first two hours of this melodrama are worth the watch. Steeped in dark atmosphere, appealing performers and romantic, historically accurate gloom. Then we get to the third episode, and it all falls apart. The climax beggars belief, and the denouement is a vast cliché. On the way, however, there are some intriguing hints of the author’s own, hidden explorations of gender roles, and repressed sexuality. All, one presumes, the flaws and virtues of the book. It is also evident that we have Daphne DuMaurier to thank for every bad contemporary “gothic” romance. (Thanks, LOADS).
This remake of DuMaurier's Jamaica Inn is a Cornish Deadwood. It has the same gloom, filth, cruelty, and sinister atmosphere without the cowboys or Annie Oakley. Young Mary Yellan abandons a miserable life of hand ploughing after her mother's death to strike out for a pub run by her aunt and uncle and a different miserable life. The pub is always either almost empty, or filled with mud-spattered, ominous drinkers. It's on a coach line, but no one wants to stop there, and the other coach passengers are horrified that Mary is willing to get off the coach much less plans to stay there. Mary's aunt is a classic battered wife and her uncle is a menacing lout. The lout's brother Jem is the love interest, probably because he is just about the only character who is not bellowing at someone or drinking himself senseless. He and Mary have a striking screen chemistry which really saved the movie from complete disaster. The lighting, or lack of it, is so low that it's hard to make out exactly what is happening. The dialogue is so muffled that I had to resort to subtitles to understand what's going on or maybe the problem was the characters' persistent and incoherent mumbling. The plot bogged down halfway both literally and figuratively as characters struggled to keep from sinking into the marshy quicksand of the moors. Mary drags her mud soaked dress through the bogs, and keeps soldiering on. There is also a suspicious minister with a tightly-laced mind who delivers biblical quotes, and his sly, strange little sister beautifully played by Shirley Henderson. Smugglers abound, also wrecked ships, Cornish accents, but, thankfully, no peg-legs or parrots. It's interesting that this movie is classified as Horror. I don't know if that's the library's choice or not, but it isn't a horror film as such except for the production values.
I absolutely love the book by Daphne du Maurier. I read it when I was 15 thirteen years ago and the story just sucked me in. I was very excited to see that it was being adapted by the BBC. Overall, I enjoyed this production. The scenery, costumes, etc. are great and realistic (it was filmed in Cornwall, the setting of the story). The cast was great. I thought that Jessica Brown Findlay did a good job as Mary. There were some things that were added that I didn't necessarily like. However, give this a chance. It's pretty well done.
This on my "to watch" list now, BBC has not disappointed me yet. I'm curious how it will compare to the 1939 classic directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
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