Mr. Pip - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mr. Pip Reviews

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June 27, 2016
wee luv ya fokkin doctoer met de medic haouse not bitch
March 14, 2016
Have you ever been so greatly impacted by a book that it changed who you are or how you saw the world? Or have you ever found a best friend in a book? A faithful companion in one of the characters? Or maybe you found refuge in a book, a way to escape the horrors of your world.

In a world full of terror and fear, where war was destroying the lives of people, a young girl Matilda found a way to escape the burden of life in Bougainville during a war. With the help of her teacher Mr.Watts, and Charles Dickens' Great Expectations, Matilda's life was changed.

This beautiful story has been told in two different ways, through the original book Mister Pip, and through its adaptation, a film Mr.Pip. Both the book and the film track how the book Great Expectations and Matilda's teacher Mr.Watts influence Matilda's life from her early teenage years until she matures into a young adult. Although both the book and the movie both told the same story, and had the same plot, there were differences between the two which made each of them unique. In the film, there were three places where its interpretation of the book was trivial. Three of these significant differences included: a scene that was in the book but was missing from the movie, a choice Matilda made that was different in the movie and the book, and lastly the way Matilda ended up drowning was different in the book and the movie.

In the book Mister Pip there was a steady progression of events, with each event getting worse. This progression of events was not in the film. By omitting one scene from the book, the film failed to maintain the steady progression of events that the book had.
The scene that was in the book, but was not in the movie, was when the redskin soldiers burned down everyone's houses. In Mister Pip, each time the soldiers came to Bougainville, they took something away from the people. Their visits got worse each time. They started off with taking something relatively small away from Matilda. Her possessions. Then it got worse. The soldiers took her homes. Then the soldiers did the worst possible thing they could have done. The soldiers took the lives of Matilda's mother and Mr.Watts. This series of events set up suspense in the book. It built tension. It showed how things seemed to keep getting worse for Matilda. This build up of tragedies successfully conveyed the horrific nature of what was going on in Bougainville as well as the unfairness of the situation.
Without the scene of the houses being burned down in the film, there was no longer any progression of the horrible events. It went from burning the people's possessions, to burning the people themselves. It didn't build the tension, which took away from the story portrayed in the film.
By leaving out the scene in the film where the houses are burned, other events had to be changed as well.
In the book and in the film, Matilda's mother, Dolores had stolen Great Expectations from Mr.Watts. Shortly after the book had been stolen, Matilda had found it in her father' sleeping mat, and had figured out that her mother had stolen it. The choice she made after finding Great Expectations was different in the book and in the film.

In the book, Matilda had chosen not to confront her mother about the book, and to leave the book where it was. When the redskins burned the houses down, Matilda's mother, Dolores, still had the book wrapped up in Matilda' father's sleeping mat. This led to the book being burned. This left Matilda's mother responsible for the destruction of the book Great Expectations. Naturally, Matilda was angry with her mother for not only stealing the book but for being responsible for it's destruction.

However, in the movie, when Matilda found the book in her father's sleeping mat, she stole the book back from her mother and snuck it back into Mr.Watts's house. She placed it in one of his dresser drawers. When Mr.Watts's possessions were burned by the people of Bougainville, the book was burnt with them and Matilda was left with the guilt of being responsible for the destruction of the book.

Although Great Expectations was stolen by Matilda's mother, and Matilda knew about it in both the book and the movie, her choice regarding what to do was different. In the book, she was left with a feeling of anger towards her mother, whereas in the movie she was left with a strong feeling of regret and guilt, which was seen by the look on her face as she desperately tried to grab the book out of the burning dresser.

Towards the end of the book, Matilda carelessly walks around in a storm after the death of Mr.Watts and her mother. She has lost the will to live. She doesn't see the purpose of living anymore. As she's walking, the storm keeps getting worse. In the book, Matilda stops by a river and thinks how dying wouldn't be so bad. At that moment, a giant wave from the river comes and sweeps her in. The water is rough and Matilda starts drowning. The moment she is deprived of oxygen, she has a revelation. She realizes that she doesn't really want to die, so she fights to try and stay alive. This shows how Matilda was psychologically damaged by not only the death of her mother and teacher, but by the previous events of the war. It showed that Matilda was not in the right state of mind, and so was unable to think clearly. The way Matilda drowned in the book was an accurate reflection of the state of mind she was in.

In the film, when Matilda was standing near the river during the storm, she saw Mr.Watt's red nose in the river, so she dove into the river to try and get Mr.Watts's red nose. Since the water was really rough, she ended up drowning. She also fought to stay alive in the movie. The way Matilda started drowning in the film reflected the importance of Mr.Watts to her. By diving into the river during a storm to get the red nose, it showed how much Matilda missed Mr.Watts. She risked her life just to get a memento of him.

When Matilda ended up drowning, it was a moment of vulnerability for her as she was clearly still affected by grief and was not in full control of herself. In the book, the author chose to use this moment of vulnerability to convey how deeply affected she was by the events of the war whereas the director of the film used this moment to show the importance of Mr.Watts in Matilda's life.

The book and the film were both incredibly emotional and touching. They both conveyed the story in a successful manner, however I personally believe that the book was better than the movie, because I interpreted the book in a different manner than the director did. The director of the film believed that the scene of the burning houses wasn't important in the story, but I did. I believe that the scene of the burning houses is a crucial piece of the story as it develops the story. Also, regarding the burning of Great Expectations, the directors believed Matilda felt guilty for her mother's actions, whereas I thought Matilda felt anger towards her mother for destroying the book.The last significant difference in interpretation is the part where Matilda started drowning. The director of the film used this moment to show the importance of Mr.Watts in Matilda's life whereas I interpreted this part of the book to show how emotionally hurt Matilda was. Despite these differences in interpretation, I still think the movie did an exceptional job in conveying the story.
½ March 14, 2016
Mister Pip and Mr. Pip: The Increase in Beauty Through Adaptation

***The following essay contains spoilers about both the novel Mister Pip and film Mr. Pip. Proceed at your own risk! ***

Utter shock. Then sadness. Then the question, "How can human beings treat others so barbarically?" repeating over and over in my mind. Those are the feelings and thoughts that the climax of the film Mr. Pip evokes. The 2012 film is based on the 2006 novel Mister Pip by New Zealander author Lloyd Jones. The story is told by Matilda, who recounts the events that happened to her and other villagers on the small island of Bougainville in the South Pacific during the civil war around the year 1990. Reading the novel Mister Pip, one gains an appreciation for dynamic literary elements that are inherent in the form of a novel, such as the repetition of linguistic symbolism to form a motif that enhances the depth of the story's meaning, and the diction suited to a first-person narrator. Comparing the novel to its adaptation in film, one realizes that the film adaptation is both an original telling of a new story and a modified telling of someone else's original story. Examining how each work is both unique yet related to the other, one finds differences between a novel version of a story and a film adaptation of that story, and one arrives at an understanding of why people feel that books are better than movies, and vice versa. An examination of symbolism and narrative point-of-view, which are employed in different ways in the novel and its film adaptation, illustrates how the open-ended quality of a novel's linguistic narration involves more of the reader's imagination in the creation and experience of a story world, whereas a film's pictorial narration involves less of the reader's imagination in the creation and experience of a story world. Though different story experiences result from the novel and the film, one still sees how a film adaptation of a novel can complement the artistry of the novel and result in an overall increase in the beauty of the story as it goes on to live in the reader's and viewer's mind.

Because novels employ primarily linguistic narration and films rely primarily on pictorial narration, the novel Mister Pip employs its symbolism differently from the film adaptation of the novel. The novel, for example, employs the keyword "pip," a word which figuratively unlocks meaning in different ways throughout different parts of the story.

To analyze the function of the word "pip" in the novel, one must first understand several different definitions of the word "pip." Definitions of the word "pip" include the following: a small, hard seed of a fruit; an excellent or very attractive person; a small shape or symbol; any of the spots on playing cards, dice, or dominoes; a single blossom of a clustered head of flowers; a diamond-shaped segment of the surface of a pineapple; an image of an object on a radar screen; a star on the shoulder of an army officer's uniform; a disease of poultry or other birds causing thick mucus in the throat and white scale on the tongue; a young bird cracking the shell of the egg when hatching; to defeat an opponent by a small margin or at the last moment; and to hit or wound (someone) with a gunshot.
That the word "pip" has so many meanings, some of which seem unrelated to the other meanings, but all of which tend to generally be related to the idea of something small that is distinct, makes it a keyword that offers significant potential as a symbol. The many meanings of the word "pip" reveal how a novel can achieve layered symbolic meaning through linguistic narration. By employing the word "pip" as a keyword, that is, a word with symbolic meanings that can be interpreted in various ways, the author involves the reader in the creation and experience of the story differently from how the filmmaker involves the viewer.

In the novel the significance of the word "pip" as symbolic is revealed through the course of Matilda's narration. Characters, events, and ideas in the story connect to the multiple meanings of the word "pip." It is fair to say that Lloyd Jones, the author, intends for the reader to access the symbolic meanings suggested through the novel's consistently repeated literal and figurative instances of different kinds of pips. Moreover, it is clear that the film also incorporates symbolism related to the idea of a "pip," but to a lesser extent.
The idea of a "pip" becomes a motif in the story that Matilda tells. The most significant example of the symbol of a "pip" in the novel is Matilda's description of the moment that Mr. Watts begins reading Charles Dickens' novel Great Expectations aloud to Matilda and the other kids. In the very beginning of Great Expectations, the pronunciation of the name Pip is revealed to be the innocent mistake of a child. Additionally, "Pip" is not the full truth, per se, because the protagonist's full name is not Pip but rather Phillip Pirrip. Here the accidental but fitting name Pip suggests the way that one's identity is both something controlled by an individual, yet beyond one's own control. Although the character Pip chooses how to identify himself to others by choosing what name he uses, he cannot control the fact that he is an orphan, nor can he really control what his original name was, nor can he really control so many other unpredictable aspects of his life. Yet Pip, through the act of storytelling, can control how--of if--he wants to present the truth about his life.

The character of Pip reveals that a person must struggle to come to terms with hard truths about his or her own personal life. Both Mr. Watts and Matilda face this struggle in their own ways. Mr. Watts's full backstory, which is pieced together for the reader as Matilda tells the story, involves a failed marriage and his experiencing of the death of his infant daughter in his new marriage. This is a difficult story for Mr. Watts to relate accurately to others. Mr. Watts struggles to be a role model for the kids he is teaching, yet he is unable to openly present the full truth about himself, even to Matilda, with whom he forms a close bond. It is not until she travels to London that Matilda understands Mr. Watts's backstory to a fuller extent, and it is ironic that she understands larger truths about Mr. Watts's life only after he is dead and is no longer around to tell stories about himself.

Matilda also struggles to come to terms with hard truths about her own life. The interesting thing about Matilda's storytelling is that it constitutes the full story of the novel Mister Pip, and as such, all of the other characters are presented through Matilda's filter, so to speak. Mr. Watts, her mentor, has made an impact upon her not only through his passion for Great Expectations, which introduces her to the character Pip, and together, Matilda's interactions both literally with Mr. Watts and figuratively with Pip transform the person that she becomes. The telling of her story, then, becomes an act of self-actualization. Her story becomes a figurative island of truth in an ocean that contains everything besides her personal truth.

Matilda's story culminates with the description of atrocities that were committed against the people of her small village on the island of Bougainville. It is fair to infer that one innocent, "skinny thirteen-year-old"--Matilda--is the only person to recount the horror of this truth; her sole narration of these events suggests the way that full truth is inaccessible, yet we are able to approach truth, especially through the act of storytelling. Symbolically, I see the idea of a "pip" relating to the idea of innocence and to the idea that people don't always know the full story, nor do they know how to tell the full story, and oftentimes there is no way to access the full story.

The pip also relates to several other ideas suggested throughout the story: the idea of that Matilda's imagination can provide escape from what confines her; the idea that moral boundaries provide "containment that at the same time offers escape"; and the idea of being literally trapped on a tiny island in the South Pacific Ocean. These other incorporations of the symbolism of the "pip" work together to give the novel aesthetic coherence. Seemingly disparate parts become unified when the reader accesses the meaning of the "pip" symbolism.
Interestingly, the symbol of the pip is featured in the very opening moments of the film: the camera, from a bird's-eye view, descends onto a black dot surrounded by white. This black dot is revealed to be an umbrella, and it is being held by Matilda, who is walking along a snow-covered London street. There are several other figurative pips in the opening sequence of the film. Matilda, a dark-skinned woman, appears in a snow-covered, white landscape. Next, she is the only black woman walking down the sidewalk in London, and she wears a light-beige coat and a colorful hat and scarf; everyone else in the same street shot is light-skinned, and almost all of them are wearing dark coats and caps. Then we see a white illustration of Charles Dickens' head inside a black circle (a figurative pip) on a sandwich board outside a museum dedicated to him. Shortly after that, Matilda's voice-over narration leads us through a flashback to her native island of Bougainville. We see the image of sun being reflected in water, the surface of which are obviously flying over at close distance; the island is revealed as the camera pans up, and significantly, a small green dot--the reflection of the sun caught in the camera lens--remains onscreen for a few seconds as we take in the landscape of one shoreline of Bougainville island. Following that, there is a sequence of high-contrast images of Bougainville villagers framed in long-shots against mostly blank white backgrounds. Each of the camera shots described in the sequence above incorporates figurative representations of the pip symbolism.

This symbolic choice-the envisioning of several kinds of literal and figurative pips-during the opening sequence of the film makes it apparent that the many instances of pips throughout the story are intentionally developed both by the author and the filmmaker.

Overall, the motif of the pip provides aesthetic unity to many ideas in both the novel and film versions of Mister Pip. The pip evokes and unifies the following ideas that recur throughout the story: the concept of an individual's struggle in society; the concept of a subversive idea (which relates both to Mr. Watts's attempts to educate the children, as well as the conflict between different factions of soldiers warring over the Panguna copper mine); the concept of an original idea, such as the students' low, rhythmic chanting of their own names with their own voices; the concept that Matilda's imagination offers escape outside the boundaries that confine her; the concept that moral boundaries guide individuals, and in the absence of clear moral boundaries (such as during times of war), individuals can be wiped out en masse; and the idea that a lone eyewitness, such as Matilda, can be the only hope for preserving the historical events experienced by a group of people.

One difference between the novel and the film is that the symbolism of the pip seemed ubiquitous throughout the novel, whereas I didn't detect its employment as thoroughly throughout the film. Perhaps this is one reason why an attentive reader and viewer might judge the book to be a more engrossing experience than the film: by achieving depth through subtle, linguistically-employed symbolism, the experience of the story through the novel can prove to be more intellectually stimulating and enriching. Linguistic narration can present a multiplicity of meanings. The film, on the other hand, which relies on pictorial narration, perhaps leaves less room for imaginative interpretation because the visual representation of the story world is decided not by the reader's imagination, but by the filmmaker's imagination. The linguistic narration of the novel makes it more difficult to access the story, and leaves the envisioning of characters, setting and plot events to the reader's imagination. The open-ended quality of linguistic narration creates more possibilities for a reader to find connections among layers of symbolic meaning.

In addition to the differences between symbolism in the novel and film, the novel's narrative point-of-view differs from the film's narrative point-of-view. The novel employs Matilda as a first-person narrator, and first-person narration is usually only possible in novels. Films that attempt to portray first-person narrators usually achieve only a kind of third-person limited omniscient narrator because the camera shows us things from a third-person (omniscient) perspective, although one character might provide voice-over narration of the story, thus creating a narrative point-of-view similar to a third-person limited omniscient narrator.

The differences between the narrative points-of-view in the novel and film significantly affect one's experience of the story. For example, through a first-person narrator in the novel, the author is able to forcefully highlight the theme that a person must struggle to come to terms with hard truths about his or her own personal life. The author uses Matilda's process of narration to underscore how the act of storytelling actually changes how she understands herself and the events she has experienced. Matilda struggles to figure out how to tell her story. A transformation occurs in Matilda at the moment of the novel's climax, when she must describe (and relive through retelling) the moment that Mr. Watts is brutally murdered, chopped up and fed to pigs, Matilda directly addresses the reader saying,

"In recalling these events I do not feel anything. Forgive me if I lost the ability to feel anything that day. It was the last thing to be taken from me after my pencil and calendar and shoes, the copy of Great Expectations, my sleeping mat and house, after Mr Watts and my mother. I do not know what you are supposed to do with memories like these. It feels wrong to want to forget. Perhaps this is why we write these things down, so we can move on."

Thus, the act of telling her story is precisely what enables Matilda to share her insight that processing difficult memories through storytelling can lead a person to be able to "move on." Here is perhaps the clearest illustration of the empowerment that can be obtained when Matilda takes control of her own story in the same way that Mr. Watts and Pip take control of their own stories.
The filmmaker also emphasizes Matilda's transformation when Mr. Watts and her mother are murdered, but the experience of this moment of the story is different through the film, partly because the film employs a third-person point of view. The filmmaker actually changes this critical moment of the story from Lloyd Jones's original version. In the novel version of the story, Jones chooses to not describe the shooting of Mr. Watts. Why? Consider the narrator, Matilda. Matilda's first-person narration not only limits the storytelling but also limits her ability to describe certain events (such as the shooting of Mr. Watts) because she did not directly experience them. She is relating this entire story as events that she witnessed in the not-so-distant past. Because Matilda was not present for the killing of Mr. Watts, she is unable to describe his murder in detail. Instead, she sets the scene: "As we watched the soldiers and the rambo disappear I remember feeling preternaturally calm. This is what deep, deep fear does to you. It turns you into a state of unfeeling." Then, she describes the death-the murder-of Mr. Watts indirectly. Unlike in the film, Mr. Watts is not shot in the chest, point-blank, by an angry, irrational, misguided, drunk (or hungover) redskin officer. Instead, Matilda directly describes the following events:
"a few minutes later . . . we heard gunshots. Soon the two redskins reappeared by the schoolhouse. They carried their guns on their shoulders and otherwise looked bored. Between them was the rambo. They must have untied his hands because he was dragging the limp body of Mr Watts towards the pigs."

It is interesting to note that such an important moment is portrayed so differently in the novel version and in the film version of this story.

In the film version, the impact of the scene would be much less jarring if Jones's version of the death of Mr. Watts took place. The film instead portrays Mr. Watts being murdered very publicly, in front of the entire village, shot in the chest at point-blank range. The overall effect of the scene is similarly shocking to the abrupt death of Mr. Watts in the novel, but the reason for the change in the film version of the story can likely be traced to the difference in narrative points-of-view in the novel and the film. Because Lloyd Jones can use Matilda's transformation as a storyteller at that moment of the novel, he can understate the scene of Mr. Watts's death. If similar understatement were employed in the film, the climax would be much less shocking, and the emotional force of the scene would be less, and this stems from the film's narrative point-of-view being different from the novel's.

Another difference between the novel and the film that relates to the different narrative points-of-view in each version are the scenes in the film that depict Matilda having conversations with and interacting with the character Pip, who is dressed in English Victorian clothing and who appears to be a native from Bougainville.

These scenes are added to Mr. Pip the film, and they enhance the storytelling through the audio-visual medium of film. Similar kinds of moments are present in the book, such as when Matilda describes the connections she feels with Pip, but these moments in the book are not portrayed the same way that they are in the film. The film visually confronts the viewer with a striking representation of Pip as conceived of by Matilda's imagination: Matilda's imaginary Pip is like Matilda in that he appears to be originally from Bougainville, but he is clearly from a different era, he is a Bougainvillean who is enmeshed in a foreign culture, and he lives in two worlds--the story world described by Charles Dickens and the world as envisioned by Matilda's mind.

The inclusion of these scenes in the film is a way for the filmmaker to achieve development of Matilda as a narrator. In the novel, the author is able to show us Matilda's imagination through her continuous storytelling--the way that she uses words to make the story come to life. In the film, however, Matilda provides only sporadic direct narration. Therefore, these added scenes with Matilda's imaginary Pip, remind the viewer of the film that Matilda is like the limited-omniscient narrator of this story.

The difference between the ending of the story in the novel and the film also highlights a difference stemming from the different narrative points-of-view in each version of the story. Whereas the film ends in a way that leaves a viewer feeling that Matilda's story has a happy ending, the novel ends with Matilda closing her story in a hopeful yet open-ended way. In the novel Matilda the narrator finishes describing her experience inside the Charles Dickens' museum in London, and then, in the silence of the museum, she reflects on the lesson that Mr. Dickens-through Mr. Watts-taught her "a long time ago and during very difficult circumstances." She remembers something about Mr. Dickens about which other people inside the museum remain completely unaware. Matilda's closing words to the reader describe that "In the worshipful silence I smiled at what else they didn't know. Pip was my story, even if I was once a girl, and my face black as the shining night. Pip is my story, and in the next day I would try where Pip had failed. I would try to return home."

Whereas the film shows Matilda having returned home and becoming a teacher, the novel leaves Matilda's story less decided. At the end of the novel the reader feels confident that Matilda, as the eloquent teller of her harrowing story, has demonstrated how she has already achieved the goal she articulates in her closing statement. Because the film's narrative point-of-view is more of a third-person limited omniscient point-of-view, the film can't illustrate the idea that Matilda has achieved the goal she articulates at the end of the novel. Therefore, the film shows a similar sort of achievement by Matilda, but in a more literal way than the novel.

In conclusion, symbolism and narrative point-of-view are key elements of storytelling that significantly impact how a story is experienced and how deeper meanings are communicated by authors and filmmakers. The symbol of the pip, which the author develops significantly and the filmmaker incorporates to a much lesser degree, adds many of the aesthetic layers to the story which makes it possible for a reader (and viewer) to developing her understanding of the intricacies of this story over time and during subsequent rereadings. The novelist's employment of a first-person narrator is deliberate and significant, and the film's achievement of a kind of third-person limited omniscient narrator that changes the ways that film's story can portray Matilda's transformation as a protagonist. Still, the third-person limited omniscient narrative point-of-view in the film allows the filmmaker to add artistic flourishes that enhance the novelist's original artistic vision, such as the film's periodic representations of Matilda's imagining of the story world of Great Expectations, which is comprised of a blend of familiar elements from Matilda's village life in Bougainville with the foreign world of Dickens' England. This particular artistic choice by the filmmaker transforms Lloyd Jones's original story in a creative way that enhances the depth and beauty of the story in only a way that the medium of film can. The literal representation of Matilda's imagination is something that the novelist would struggle to do as effortlessly as the filmmaker, and to do without the aid of pictures. Beauty is added to the story by this series of moments in the film.

Together, the novel and film develop the overall experience of beauty in Matilda's story, which is all about the importance of one's unique experience of life's treasures, as well as one's negotiation of unspeakable atrocities. That Jones chooses a first-person narrator underscores the novel's theme that truth is difficult to access because people face tremendous challenges in reporting the truth, such as threats, unreliable memory, and being murdered for speaking the truth. Jones skillfully crafts the novel so that the narration underscores and enhances the theme that people must struggle to find, come to terms with, and tell their personal truths, and that having the courage to engage in this difficult endeavor is what it means to be human.
January 28, 2016
Beautifully shot and interesting story about the last Englishman to stay in Bougainville during the conflict in PNG. It will break your heart because the violence that you see in this film exists in many parts of the world to this day.
½ January 9, 2016
A riveting performance by Xzannjah. The film is a visual feast, but the watcher has to rad between the lines a lot (which is good). It makes the small amount of displayed violence rather difficult to stomach. I'm very glad I watched it after stalling for nearly a year...
August 29, 2015
Mr Pip is is one of the best movies of 2014. It is not for the faint of heart it is based on true events. That occurred in the Papua New Guinea Islands.
It is based on a man that is the only white man on the island that takes on the role of being the school teacher for the children of the island.
He is not a trained teacher he is a performer however he takes the children to heart and tells them the tale of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. You will not believe what drama this book causes.
From a name of a fictional character in the book that one of the students writes in the sand causes bloodshed and so much drama all because of a misunderstanding and a lack of education.
If you take one thing away from this movie is to treat everyone the same and not to be afraid but to learn, teach and understand.
This is an amazing tale of a re-telling of Charles Dickens tale but with a sad twist.
The power of education and to be educated is crucial.
All the performers in the show played to a high standard a few notable mentions have to be Xzannjah Matsi she plays the young girl Matilda that is affected by all the drama.
This is a powerful movie and although only PG I do not recommend it for kids under 16 as the theme is strong and powerful.
It also shows you how fragile life is when your world and understanding are limited. We should learn to value each other and love each other based on our differences and similarities and understand and learn about those differences not to just fear them.
Loved the movie and highly recommend it.
This movie should have won awards.
April 6, 2015
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.
April 5, 2015
A realistic insight to the realm of public education.
April 4, 2015
I was very surprised to see Rotten Tomatoes have such a low rating on this movie. I just saw it on Netflix, rated over 4 stars, which is a much more accurate rating. This movie has beautiful scenery, culture, imagination, love and was not predictable.
March 31, 2015
Full of pathos! Brilliant and effortless acting.
March 28, 2015
Very difficult to watch in the 2nd half, of course, but the creativity of the story (using Dickens) and the evocative expressions of emotion from Matilda make this a very good watch.
March 21, 2015
Heartbreaking and profoundly beautiful, this film is a reminder to all of the horrors humans are still capable of.
March 9, 2015
I tried to watch this, but just couldn't get into it. Maybe I will give it another go at a later date.
½ December 30, 2014
This film has great cinematography and setting with great acting involved by Hugh Laurie but lack with storytelling and the direction it wants to go to. But still is a very good film and an emotional ride.
½ September 28, 2014
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.
August 25, 2014
A novel based movie and partially a true story that set on a Pacific island with the backdrop of the 90s civil war. The film was directed by a New Zealand filmmaker who was known for 'Shrek' and 'Narnia' movie series. One of the best movies of the year 2013 I have seen. Looks like it was not noticed largely, but definitely worth to give a try. Little slow in narration, especially the opening which talks about the inspiration of a masterwork. But the main plot was strong and ends very powerfully with a message about facing reality of life.

This was the story of a teenage girl, Matilda. It begins in a remote island of the Pacific nation Papau New Guinea. As it was raged with civil war, many were already fled the scene and the few who overstayed are living in a tormented life. One of them was a British citizen called Tom Watts, who is married to a local woman. Like every other he refused to leave, but he had another reason that his wife was sick. When schools are closed he's given a charge to teach kids. The children like him and the story he tells. In a short while whole community joins. Now everyone like him, but with a little misunderstanding the scenario changes which brings a twist in the tale. And the story moves to the next level from the perspective of Matilda, who witnessed all these cruelties before it wraps up as her memories of the childhood life.

''We all need a change sometimes
to help us on our way.''

A unique movie, including the cast and culture of the community from the where it has taken place. Hugh Laurie was good, but the others were impressed me a lot. Especially the lead girl who came up on the screen as the character Matilda. She was so cute and also performed incredibly awesome. The whole story narrated from her view as what she saw. It commences as a regular drama and showcases the lifestyle of the small community. Very nicely developed each scene, in fact, the story was highly connected to the Charles Dickens novel 'Great Expectations'. Not as a story wise, but as the inspiration. I would say it was a smartly done work by the author who wrote this book (Mister Pip). In the film adaptation as well, everything was showed neatly. Including the diverged plot that occasionally appears with all the beautiful costumes which imitates the Dickens novel. The last quarter of the movie brought an unexpected shock that I was not prepared for. Afterwards it pulls as much it can with the sustainable amount of sentiments till the final credits roll up. It is another excellent movie that is not a must see, but you will come to know its worth if you give a try.
June 21, 2014
An interesting little film that brings attention to it due to the involvement of television star Hugh Laurie in one of his first post House roles and family film director Andrew Adamson, tracking the story of a young girl Matilda and her story surrounding her escape from the civil war on her home island Bougainville, and how Hugh Lauries Watts began her teaching through Dickens Great Expectations which helped open her world and provide a means of figurative escape. Interesting blend of love of literature as well as real world politics and struggling with the various sides of the people we think we know.
May 18, 2014
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May 13, 2014
This was an amazingly intense movie - excellent and unvarnished - well-acted by all.
May 4, 2014
The film is only for those who have read "Great expectations" The film is not for me :( but its nice and kinda poetic
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