Mr. Pip (2014)
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Critic Reviews for Mr. Pip
It's a weak-tea imitation at best.
Mr. Pip doesn't start going seriously awry until its second half, when things get more eventful in ways that are compacted from the novel yet seem more disconnected.
Adamson mixes magical realism with hard-hitting historical drama in a way that feels both contrived and questionable, even if the filmmakers clearly have their hearts in the right place.
Audience Reviews for Mr. Pip
It may eventually find a home in classrooms, much like Great Expectations before it. However, I don't expect it to invigorate or inspire kids as Mr. Dickens' work regularly does.
Mr. Pip wants to be a better film than it actually ever is and this is disappointing because it had a chance to offer an audience a glimpse of life in a section of the world few know much about. Taking place on Bougainville Island in Papua New Guinea in 1990, it is the story of the last white man on the island who inspired his students with the writings of Charles Dickens and his interpretation/reading of 'Great Expectations' whose main character is known as Pip. During the second outbreak of civil war on the island within a fifty-year span, the teacher, Mr. Watts (Hugh Laurie - 'House') finds himself threatened by some militants who don't like the inspirational readings he recites to his class. One of his students, Matilda (Xzannjah Matsi) takes his readings to heart and becomes enthralled with the world of Dickens and imagines herself in some of his writings. The story is mostly a sad one as the history of the island has also been pretty sad (it survived a decade cut off from the rest of the world) but it is a cinematic display of the power of story and what imagination can do in a time of war -- having both positive and negative consequences. There is good and bad here but the film itself isn't ever as inspiring as the writings of Dickens as most of this is rather forgettable. It has generated interest in myself of the history of Bougainville so that in itself is a good thing; but it'll most likely make the actual history of the place much more interesting than this story.