3 January 2019 | MartinHafer
I am really not sure what this film set out to do.
"The History of Mr. Polly" is an odd British film. On one hand, it has some well respected and excellent British actors (notably, Sir John Mills). But, on the other, it has a story that really doesn't make a ton of sense and which creates a portrait of a guy who is often less than likable or honorable. I found the overall experience quite underwhelming.
When the story begins, Mr. Polly (Mills) is getting fired from a job because he's lazy. Soon, however, he is extricated from this predicament when he learns his father has died....and has left him a small inheritance. Polly then goes shopping for a wife, as he plans on getting married and opening a small shop. He marries a cousin and the film jumps ahead 15 years. Now, they are both pretty miserable and Polly comes up with a plan....run away. He soon finds a job and settles in to a new life...though a drunk bully promises to make this a very short life!
The hero in the film, Polly, is in so many ways an anti-hero. He's lazy, he's run away from his marriage and he's not much of a person. Yet, out of the blue, this all changes near the end...or at least changes enough that you don't quite know what to make of the guy. Overall, a mildly interesting film but far from Mills' best.