Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Poppy Shakespeare: TV review

Contrary to Sam Wollaston's Guardian opinion that:

It's the sort of film people will say they enjoyed, because they feel they should have. They may even convince themselves they did. But go on, admit it, it was actually bloody boring
I actually found it wonderful, wry and warm. Anna Maxwell Martin, as even Wollaston had to admit, gave a "fine performance" but then some of us have known for a long time just how stunning she is as an actress.* [Cloud rather revealingly muttered part way through "she's a bit of a hottie"] Still, I would say that overall this was a beautifully put together piece of drama, with a fine score and a similarly devastating performance by Naomi Harris as Poppy. Admittedly many of the other characters came across as ciphers, but this was essentially a relationship story between N and Poppy and it probably needed the broad brushes of the other figures in their often fleeting appearances.

Not having read the book on which it was based, I'm ill-placed to judge whether this TV version truly lacked the "angry, satirical brio" of Clare Allan's original text as Andrew Billen suggests in the Times. To me there was still a bite to the narrative. Nevertheless, I will certainly take up his call to "Now read the book" which I suspect will make me laugh aloud in horror.

* I originally saw AMM in the Stoppard trilogy "The Coast of Utopia" and she was marking herself for stardom there even before her barnstorming turn in Bleak House.


MediumRob said...

Would have liked to have watched it, but it was opposite The Fixer and I've got to have my weekly dose of nu-Callan. But on the strength of your recommendation, I won't go looking for it!

David Floyd said...

Well, disagree with Sam Wollaston. I found it compelling and I get bored quite easily by these kinds of things.

Also planning to read the book.