Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Our Mutual Friend (1998) Review
So it has been a little while since I have seen this. I probably saw it March-April-ish so bear with me.
When I watched Dicken's Our Mutual Friend miniseries, I had not yet read the book, so at first I was really confused. Then as things became more clear I couldn't wait to watch the next episodes.
Our Mutual Friend begins with the death of a wealthy heir, John Harmon, (or whatever his name was at the time, since he changed it a lot. For this review, I am just going to call him John Harmon.) who is sailing to meet his future bride. (The only way he can inherit the fortune is to marry Bella Wilfur.)
What is supposedly his dead body is found in the river by Gaffer Hexam and his daughter Lizzy. Thus begins the intricate plot of Our Mutual Friend. There are the token creepy dudes off to find the Harmon fortune (Silas Wegg and his friend.) There is also Charley Hexam's teacher, who is attracted to Lizzy Hexam. At first I thought maybe those two would work out, but people. He is NUTS. Very weird. Very vindictive and angry. By the end everything he did disgusted me. And he really could not have loved sweet Lizzy or he would have been happy for her instead of ruining all her hopes and dreams.
There are also the Boffins, the faithful servants of old Mr. Harmon and the new heirs to the fortune. Sometimes I liked them and sometimes they were a little weird. But really, their hearts were in the right place. And for all his declared "dimness," Mr. Boffin came up with an ingenious plan to show Bella where her true priorities lay.
Bella was pretty, but selfish and rude. She cared all about herself, she complained often, and was often petulant. I did not like her. How could John have? But he did and she refused him. (I could have told him that would happen. Plus, he was kind of being stalker-ish so I might have been a little worried too if I had been Bella.) Her change was believable though and I really grew to be quite fond of her. How could she be so okay with John lying to her and keeping such a big secret from her? I would have forgiven him, but I would have been mad at first. I mean, lying about your identity is kind of a big deal.... anyway.
Eugene Wrayburn and Mortimer Lightwood were foppish. Mortimer not as much, but still. And they were bored of everything. (though I could rather understand that, "Society" is dreadful company.)
At first I wasn't happy with Eugene liking Lizzy. She kept saying she was beneath him, but honestly? He was beneath her. He put his own needs in front of hers. Except when it really mattered, he tried to do what was best for her. And he married her. What would Society think? Society be dashed! It was a great transformation for him.
Mortimer Lightwood... He finally saw the light and proclaimed the truth to society. BUT he was still back in London society when the show ended, so I am not really sure how well off he was. There was not even a nice girl in the picture. Sad, that.
Anyway, it all works out. The bad guys are punished, the good guys prevail, and the heros and heroines get their happily ever afters. (After a lot of worry and distress and SUCH a complicated plot.)
It was classic Dickens, with lots of characters, sub plots, and everyone was somehow related to everyone else. It was really good, and I enjoyed it. I found it for free on YouTube here.
And now I am going to post a bunch of Bella's dresses 'cause I love 'em. :)