There have been a lot of book adaptations over the years, but one of the most adapted books ever has been The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The latest adaptation has made its arrival on VOD.
The classic story tells us about 10-year old Mary Lennox (Dixie Egerickx), whose parents died of cholera. Mary was taken in by her grieving uncle Archibald Craven (Colin Firth), whose wife has died and whose son Colin (Edan Hayhurst) was sick. Mary felt isolated and unwanted until she discovered a secret garden that she believed was filled with magic.
The garden in this film is beautifully filmed and exquisitely displayed. It seemed to be a mixture of real imagery and CGI but the garden was great. It had a feel of a character to it and the use of the ghosts from Mary and Colin’s pasts added to the element of magic on display.
Speaking of Mary and Colin, these two, along with Dickon (Amir Wilson), were outstanding. The kids’ performances were real and compelling, especially Edan Hayhurst, who had a wealth of range for the sickly Colin. We also got Colin Firth as Colin’s father, but I could have used more from him. His character seemed to be too inconsistent and he bounced from one level to another quickly. Still, the ending sequence with the fire was well done and the resolution of the film was moving.
Fans of the classic novel should find this adaptation enjoyable and rich. There are some deep themes contained in the story and these kids do a wonderful job of playing those out. The Secret Garden can be a powerful film for the entire family.