BBC’s Oliver Twist

Despite its popularity, I’ve never read Dickens’ Oliver Twist. After watching the BBC version of this work, I think I will. I thought this version was excellent. I thought the casting was pretty good. Oliver was played by William Miller.  I thought he played his part well, being the perfect mixture of innocence to the underworld of crime and experience in the harshness of life for children in workhouses or orphanages.  My favorite characters were Nancy and Dodger. I abhorred Edward and pitied Sikes and Fagin. The last few scenes of the movie were especially haunting and memorable. Spoiler here. I felt chills when Nancy kept haunting Sikes after he killed her in a fit of drunken rage at her having pinched on the gang. I wish someone had stepped up to defend Fagin at his Trial, even though what he was doing wasn’t entirely right either. Would he really have killed Oliver in order to get a chance at a better life? Probably. But, he was still prejudiced against for being a Jewish. I was glad Rose was able to see Edward’s sliminess early on so that she could foil his plans. And finally, at the end of the movie, when Dodger steps into the shoes of Sikes, you get that much more of a deeper understanding of how Sikes  came to be. If he didn’t love Nancy in some small, well-hidden way, he would not have killed himself at the end when he was wracked with guilt.  Other characters such as Mr Bumble were equally amusing. Anyway, go and watch this movie, especially if you haven’t read Oliver Twist before.

I also thought the music was very well-done. It had an impish but dark quality that I thought perfectly reflected the nature of the streets for children like Oliver.


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