22 December 2005 | ma-cortes
New version of the classic Dickens with riveting stage design and impressive settings
The film concerns Oliver Twist (Barney Clark), an innocent and ill-treated waif who is living at a workhouse in early 19th-century . The orphan escapes and he goes to London plunging in the underbelly . There he's dragged into a life of crime when is befriended by a band of youthful pickpockets . The little robbers are trained to steal for their master Fagin (Ben Kingsley) . The boy is struggling to flee himself the underworld . He's subjected to many awful incidents before finding somebody to worry for him until his rescue from a miserable life by a noble (Edward Harwicke who replaced Frank Finlay) to whom a sadist thief called Bill (Jamie Foreman) tries to burgle his house .
The picture is a well done co-production , -being specially a British movie- of Charles Dickens immortal story . As Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist includes many more characters and subplots than can be fit into a just-over-2-hours film . This version narrows down and streamlines the story to focus on misfortunes of Oliver , the Artful Dodger , scheming Fagin , evilness by fearful Bill Sykes , Nancy , Mr. Brownlow and other criminal elements of London . The novel's other characters Mr. Bumble, Mrs. Mann, Mrs. Corny, Noah Claypole, Charlotte, Mr. Monks, the Maylie family, the Fleming family, and the Leeford family, are all either relegated to brief cameo roles or omitted entirely from the story .
Ben Kingsley's Fagin is a treat , he's magnificent as the mean and greedy old man creating an under-age army of plunderers ; besides , an awesome portrayal by the support casting . The movie has a clever utilization of effects , colour as well as lighting and with highly smartness use of edition to increase suspense in provoking drama , emotion or horrible events as when happens the killing . The idea of making a new version of Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist" was suggested by Emmanuelle Seigne r, director Roman Polanski's wife , while he was looking for a plot that their children would find interesting. Director Roman Polanski's children have parts in the film, in fact , Morgane Polanski plays the farmer's daughter and Elvis Polanski plays the boy with the hoop . It's colorfully and sharply photographed by Pawel Edelman . Glowing cinematography of the rustic outdoors in Pre-Raphaelist style and gorgeous Victorian landscapes , just like urban London ; though , all of them were filmed in Czech Republic , at Prague Studies . In addition , excellent scenarios of dingy and dirty settings of the slums where the narration is developed . This is the best (along with David Lean version and the musical by Carol Reed) of many renditions about the unforgettable novel . Other retelling results to be the followings : by Frank LLoyd 1922 , by David Lean 1948 , and by Carol Reed 1968 . The motion picture was shot with nice detail and imaginatively realised by Roman Polanski .