Platform : Netflix
Director : Simon Stone
Genre: Drama, History, Biography
Release date: Jan-21-2021
Some times you might have to make a movie on stories based on history, most of the times they are softly goes behind unnoticed. This may be one film like that, but not without satisfying you.
With Story based on past event of British archeological finding and man behind it, this one goes into Biography and History primarily. For the lot of appreciable and some unnecessary events happening in a slow fashion, it’s a definite Drama.
Based mainly on the book “The Dig’ by John Preston, after unsuccessful attempts to cast Nicole Kidman, Movie started with Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes in lead roles. Though BBC got it rights first, later somehow movies rights ended up in the hands of Netflix and released along it’s limited release in theatres. Both book and Movie entirely depended on the digging events happened in 1939 regarding the excavation of Sutton Hoo. But with it’s historical inaccuracy of portraying the characters like Peggy, Photographing cousin of the Pretty are blatantly opposed for wrong portrayal as both in book and movie
Starts with Mrs. Edith Pretty hiring an amateur excavator Mr.Basil Brown for digging few mounds located in her plot of empty land, in the country where war is happening other side. She after being told by Brown that these mounds are not gonna be as interesting as she thinks and tell her not to work any more. But being offered more money by her than Museum to dig those mounds, he returns to excavate. After finding some unexpected results with his small team, other people starts to join from national archeological authorities. Though Mrs. Peggy understands how genuine Brown’s work is, Charles Phillippe’s from Cambridge archeology opposes brown to stand any where near the site. Pretty makes sure of Brown’s stay inside the dig and let’s everybody understand that how important he is for the digging. Mean while on the site of digging there are always war planes flying around to other places. Mr.Peggy finds the first of the Anglo-Saxon element as suggested by Brown and after wards many more of the items comes out. Drama between Peggy, her husband and photographing cousin of Mrs. Pretty happening around mean while. After successful and satisfying excavation, Pretty suggests brown’s name for credit whole digging event and finding the valuables. Before war get’s more intense Edith Pretty decides to donate the whole treasure to British museum. Film ends with Brown team covering the whole digging site with mud they pulled out.
Most of the time your expectations will be coming right in an order and story goes on so smoothly through out. You will love characters most of the time on the front, and British people may appreciate the whole excavation events too, (yeah both in book and movie excavation looks so story like). Character design is good that there is no wastage of performances. Scene where Brown almost dies of fallen mud is strong. There are many such moments in movie, you would like them too. Overall movie is clean and smooth
Those scenes around Peggy Piggott and her triangle love story is all looks uninterested and we will miss the whole excavation things and feels bored all the way. Though these moments are pretty small in whole scale, they disturb us to some extent and let us miss Brown too. The overall filmy feeling of excavation is not really convincing any more better than book. Book is more authentic and believable even with many wrong portrayals. Casting wise at least they should have took as real world characters, but performances really pulled off.
Simon Stone did very good job we say, and writing also conveyed what he wanted to convey, kudos for writing team Moira Buffini, John Preston. Casting is an off choice if you see Carey Mulligan by her age, but not by her performance. Ralph Fiennes , any body know how good he is, there is no gifts but he did wonderfully, and Carey Mulligan gave him good competition. Lily James , though her character is partially imbalanced, her performance is better, but this movie does not give any new heights for her. Mike Eley‘s cinematography gives good moments of beauty and gives pleasure to eyes. Production design by Maria Djurkovic is appreciable. Alice Babidge did wonderful costume job. VFX are pretty unseen and nice. Kudos to the team.
Very filmy representation of real events and altering story for the cinematic liberty may have ruined the movie but it still successful in a scale.
We would give this rating of 6.8/10