The Personal History of David Copperfield Review
by H. Thomas
‘The cast is incredibly diverse in terms of race, without this affecting the plot at all, a perfect example of how to cast representatively even in the most classic of stories.’
Director: Armando Iannucci
Starring: Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie & Peter Capaldi
Synopsis: A comedic, diverse retelling of the classic Dickens story, this film follows the life of David Copperfield, written in his own words as a supposedly fictional story for publishing. We follow the story from the moment he is born, in a rags-to-riches (and back and forth again) style tale, following his happy childhood, his less happy factory employment and his escape from it, and all of the eccentric people who he meets along the way, writing down words and lessons from every one of them in his box of papers – the only possession he carries throughout his entire lifetime.
Review: As someone who hasn’t actually read the original story, this film portrayed a tale I was previously unfamiliar with, beautifully. The cast is incredibly diverse in terms of race, without this affecting the plot at all, a perfect example of how to cast representatively even in the most classic of stories, and each part is played wonderfully – both the ones you love and hate! It also adds a comedic twist to the story, making each character as much of a caricature as possible while still retaining the plot, and each one is complex and has times in which you both like and dislike them. A story which may seem to have far too many twists and turns, at first, becomes believable, and relatable, due to the performances of the actors involved. Overall, the film is absolutely brilliant and definitely a recommended watch!
The Personal History of David Copperfield is currently available on Prime Video. It was rated PG by the BBFC.