The Personal History of David Copperfield: Film Review

I am a massive fan of Dev Patel so naturally, I was excited to see him leading a Victorian-era period drama – The Personal History of David Copperfield – and while he’s fantastic in it, I wasn’t blown away by the film itself.

Armando Iannucci‘s film, a reimagining of Charles Dickens’ novel David Copperfield, follows the title character from his youth into adulthood, as his life fluctuates between wealth and poverty and as he meets a wide range of characters, such as his wealthy aunt Betsey Trotwood (Tilda Swinton), her troubled friend Mr. Dick (Hugh Laurie), the penniless Mr. Micawber (Peter Capaldi), and the snakey Uriah Heep (Ben Whishaw).

The cast – which also includes Benedict Wong and Gwendoline Christie – is an embarrassment of riches and everybody is terrific. The standout for me was Patel, who was absolutely wonderful in such a light-hearted, whimsical role. I wish he was given less serious material more often. He was a total delight. Swinton and Laurie were also excellent additions, they really brought the comedy and the fun factor, and Whishaw was perfectly cast as the duplicitous Heep. The acting is impressive, as is the fact Iannucci cast his film colourblind, meaning we see a diverse range of actors we wouldn’t normally see in a period film.

I also loved the costumes, the setting and the general look of the film. However, I simply just liked the movie as a whole. There was nothing in particular wrong with it, but it didn’t blow me away. It is lovely, likeable and a very pleasant, fun watch, but it is altogether quite forgettable.

In cinemas now

Rating: 3/5

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