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Review of "MR. PIP"
By Jayne Waterford
Copyrighted © Jayne Waterford, 2013. Written 2nd December 2013 First Published 2nd December 2013
REVIEW: "MR. PIP" by Jayne Waterford

Academy Award®-nominated director Andrew Adamson's "MR. PIP" (2012) is a straight up War Drama that provokes a mild curiosity about where this story is going. In fact it's like a more mildly engrossing novel then one by Charles Dickens with historical shocks.

Our story is set in the civil war of Bougainville and features a local malicia who soldier with rape and murder. Their consequences are fatal for our characters.

Hugh Laurie gives us an affected Mr. Watts, someone in the white linen suit of the colonialist. He has left his wife in England, played by Kerry Fox. Fox is superb in the role. She plays a woman who bores herself and is only mildly surprised that her husband has left. She seems suspended in a state of unrequited grief when we meet her. He has died horribly.

In total the film is a little bit fragmented with components. Mr. Pip is a nice guy. School kids, lucky to be in school, imagine being in the novel GREAT EXPECTATIONS". The Bougainvilleans are god fearing. Parents in the village are cut and dried about life and narrate what their children need to know. Does Matilda

(Xzannjah) ever realise her selfishness? Mrs. Watts is forlorn. Mr. Watts is passive-aggressive. The malicia are murderous. In part, it's about the English living in conservative village life. The story is mild. And then the malicia turn up machette people and feed them to the pigs and rape and murder anyone who objects. It's a difficult reality.

It seems a story about futility but inside this mileau Pip carves out a space and loves someone tragically. Great performances of roles that seem circumvented by propriety. 7/10

Copyrighted ©: Jayne Waterford, 2013.

Academy Award®-nominated director Andrew Adamson's
"MR. PIP" (2012)

Screen Play and Director Academy Award®-nominated director Andrew Adamson
Producers Andrew Adamson, Robin Scholes (Lee Tamahori's "ONCE WERE WARRIORS" (1994)), Leslie Urdang, Dean Vanech (Mike Mills' "BEGINNERS" (2010), John Cameron Mitchell's "RABBIT HOLE" (2010))
Stars Hugh Laurie, Xzannjah, Healsville Joel, Eka Darville, Kerry Fox
Release Date 7th November 2013
Based on Lloyd Jones’ seminal novel which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize
Category War Drama
Running Time
Rating M

Distributor Paramount Pictures
Official Blurb "Directed, written and produced by Academy Award®-nominated Andrew Adamson, "MR. PIP" is based on Lloyd Jones’ seminal novel which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. The film was shot on location in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.

Set against the backdrop of civil war in Bougainville, "MR. PIP" stars Golden Globe-winner Hugh Laurie (House) as the enigmatic teacher Mr. Watts who reads to his pupils from Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations”. Matilda, a 14-year-old student played by newcomer Xzannjah, is transported by her imagination and the world of Dickens, becoming transfixed by the characters and Mr Watts’ interpretation of the story. The film also stars Healsville Joel, Eka Darville and Kerry Fox.

A wonderful tale of the imaginative power of story that reveals that on an island at war, fiction can have dangerous consequences." - Paramount Pictures PR

Hugh Laurie (Mr. Watts) and Xzannjah (Matilda) star in "MR. PIP", directed by Andrew Adamson.
Xzannjah as Matilda in MR PIP

John McDermott

Hugh Laurie as Mr. Watts in "MR. PIP"
Healesville Joel as Delores and Xzannjah as Matilda in "MR. PIP"
Director, writer and producer Andrew Adamson behind the scenes of "MR. PIP"

Stuart Miller Photography

Xzannjah as Matilda in MR. PIP

Photo Credit: Donny Duncan