Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Silas Marner (1985)

I watched Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe (1985) just a few days ago on YouTube. I must confess that I knew very little about the George Eliot story before I watch this film. But I did my research and found that it was a clean film that sticks fairly close to the original novel. I also remembered my brother had read the book in high school (home school) and that he had enjoyed it for the most part. I was also interested in this particular film because it starred actor Ben Kingsley who I have enjoyed in other period dramas.

Synopsis: Silas Marner was a man who had everything - until he lost it all. Falsely accused of theft and driven out of his town, Silas starts life anew. His weaving is well received in the northern village and Silas gains a wealth of gold while remaining a mysterious recluse to his neighbors. One night his gold is stolen and he distrusts everyone until one day, upon arriving home, he discovers a foundling child asleep on the hearth. Could this young girl with the golden hair be the redemption to love and happiness that Silas has been looking for?

I was not at all disappointed by actor Ben Kingsley. I was surprised and delighted every time he opened his mouth. As Silas Marner he put his all into becoming the character, a gentle soul torn by a troubled life. The tenderness and extreme gentleness with which Silas raises little Eppie is such a lovely example of fatherhood. Mr. Kingsley's accent, manner and expressions are very well done and I wish the film was just a little bit longer if only to see more of his grand performance!
Actor Ben Kingsley's other period dramas include: Twelfth Night (1996) (as Feste, I adore him in this!), Tuck Everlasting (2002), Alice In Wonderland (1999), Oliver Twist (2005) (as Fagin, I'd love to see this!).

Other actor's performances were fairly good, there aren't a lot of other characters in the film/story. Here are some of the actors, their roles and other period films:

Sets are simple and lighting is fairly poor because it is an older piece. Music, composed by Carl Davis (of Pride & Prejudice 1995 and Cranford fame), is very simple though there are a few lovely dances and folk tunes. Costumes are in simple earth tones but in keeping with the rural country life. The film runs only 92 minutes and and moves fairly quickly and definitely kept my interest. The first scene, where Silas Marner is falsely accused of theft, runs a bit oddly but make it past that and the film is full of interest.

The bond that forms between Silas and Eppie is truly beautiful and tender. Silas spoils his adopted daughter but far from being a brat Eppie grows up to be a young woman as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.
I do recommend this film, especially for those who love period drama and films such as films like Under The Greenwood Tree, Nicholas Nickleby and David Copperfield.

I've made a video with photos and theme music from the film. Enjoy!

Very truly yours,

1 comment:

Elegance of Fashion said...

We just bought the George Eliot collection, and this movie is in there. I look forward to watching it. Thank you for the review!

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