View Sidebar
Another Expectations

Another Expectations

28 Apr ’13 4:17 pm



Prior to previous post, finally i’ve seen “Great Expectations” the 2012 one. Great mixture of excitement and anxiety quickly filled the atmosphere just before the movie started.

I never read Charles Dicken’s Great Expectations. So my take at 1998 version is cut down from any literature influence. While the 2012 one, based on easily accessed information across internet that the 2012 version is based closer from source material than the 1998 one. You know the irresistible comparation of both movies, due one of the reasons i am unable to compare to dozens other in different formats, such as tv series, and/or three-parts series. With understanding in mind that is hard to cramp such long tale to just 100+ hours.

For what i believe, i’d rather not putting myself under categories of movie consumer types. Some called themselves ‘movie lover’, but they have more critics than enjoyment itself. Some called themselves ‘casuals’, but demanding more than just dead-antagonist-then-credits-roll. Some called themselves ‘deep’, but prancing insides when seeing dumb fun action flicks. I enjoy any movie types personally and trying hard not to overthink something. So below is my personal take on some of the memorable scenes. Not even a proper review. A bit of warning, it biased as hell.

1998 : The whistles that sets the mood and theme for a whole movie, actually contrast to the whole modern set, but beautiful nonetheless. One particular peeve is how the convict stay groomed compared to 2012 one.
2012 : Beautiful Kent marsh with long draw distance, but the encounter with escaped convict is kinda dull for me.
Modern pop set or gritty industrial age?

1998 : A small suburban by the sea in florida, with kind hearted fisherman, Joe with his materialistic modern-day wife.
2012 : A marsh village with kind Joe, the blackmisth with his abusive wife.
Tough call, both are great in its own way. I like the beautifully set marsh and gritty london better.

1998 : Paradiso Perduto, a mansion that looks abandoned, hence the wild unattended garden.
2012 : Satis House, an unpreserved mansion that looks like a, well, mansion at 1800s england
I like 1998 better,  just because the stark contrast between the scenes, potrays the gullible young Finn/Pip right.

1998 : Miss Dinsmoor, eccentric & rich old lady with her own theme song!
2012 : Miss Havisham, gloomy, sullen, gothic & rich old lady, hard to escape her husband influence, Mr. Burton.
I like the 1998 better, the way Ms. Dinsmoor meeting Finn the first time is great, dancing while listening Besame Mucho then mistaking Finn for Estella, “who are you?” And cheesy trade mark line adding character, Rather than plain meet and greet dull 2012 one.

1998 : Finn painting Estella and whispers what does he think about Estella to Ms. Dinsmoor, while the camera ocassionally doing extreme close up to Estella’s lips, eyes, chin. Emulating Finn’s perspective. God, when Estella lick her own lips, that was subtlety HOT!
2012 : Pip whispers what does he think about Estella to Ms. Havisham directly, that’s it.
Captain Obvious to the rescue!

1998 : Tongue kiss at fountain, ‘nuff said, their expressions are priceless.
2012 : Estella offering her cheek directly, after Estella overheard Pip defending her honor.
Keeping things tightly close to source material i see.

1998 : Beautiful music running in background while Finn narrating the transition, as the lawyer enter the scene, the music acts like it’s on radio and off as Finn turning off the radio.
2012 : Young Pip helping Joe doing his work as screen moving to adult Pip. Pretty standard.
I see a pattern here.

1998 : Finn meets Estella the same way as they were kissing at mansion’s fountain.
2012 : Pip meets Estella. Just like that.
A matter of taste, i like dramatization on 1998 incarnation.

Why the 1998 incarnation overdoing some scenes, kinda soapy, it was done like it was out-of-this-world behaviour, but tickling my curious senses in a good way. While the 2012 version stay close to source material and tried to retells while fit entire book, hence some interesting characters are underdeveloped.

I don’t hate the 2012 version, but not bearing much love either. Sorta like a completion, or alternate universe to Dicken’s original. Similar feeling like Tobey Maguire’s Spider-man & Andrew Garfield’s Amazing Spiderman, or if you prefer comic universe comparison, Astonishing X-men with Ultimate X-Men, both are great to me.

Character specific. Many characters from both movies are lovable, what is lovable characters means to me? A person’s behaviour and the way to express themselves as i yet to meet in real life. Pure subjective to me.
In 1998 version, i love the cold bite young Estella, innocent young Finn, down to earth Joe and clueless adult Finn.
While in 2012 version, lovely leaky stoic adult Estella, roguish Magwitch, conservative Pip’s Sister, gentleman Herbert Pocket and even the rest of supporting characters are spreading great. But i cannot forget 1998’s young Estella & young Finn expression after fountain scene. It was staggering. Why the cast at 2012 which overall are great but still makes me turn back to those two person from 1998 version?

Because it was relatable.

When you can relate to movie character, suddenly you care about them, you care about what is going to happen to those fictional characters in scripted events. In real life you’ve met those kind of person, heck, even the character themselves are representation of yourself.

I feel strong relation to Finn in 1998 version, rather than Pip in 2012 version.

  • Young gullible Finn loves drawing (obviously)
  • Loving a girl who has higher social status
  • Secret benefactor who put Finn become something more than a mere simpleton by drawing himself up to success
  • When Finn become a somewhat decent man accepted by society, that’s not even halfway to who Estella is
  • Watched his crush married with man who is actually a great man, he couldn’t even mad about it

I NEVER read Great expectations novel, i DON’T hate 2012 version, as i stated before, to me the 2012 is a completion to the whole story.

What i conveyed Great Expectations 1998 version before watching the 2012 version :
Dinsmoor makes Estella a tool for torturing male heart by taught Estella everything what makes female desirable to most male, making their life miserable when any men going out with Estella, forces men having a hard time to separate from the perfect Estella. The whole charade for an act of revenge, in process, dinsmoor believes that Estella would understand, all men are just pigs. I presume unless Dinsmoor was a Jewish, she is mad about saved her virginity before married for perfect man and the groom just left off at their marriage, and when she’s at at her age, no men would desire her truly except for her money, and that is what pissed her off.
When Finn learned from Dinsmoor about what Estella is, Dinsmoor felt sorry for Finn and trying to apologize to him, because Dinsmoor finally know Finn actually different from most douches and truly loves Estella for what she is.

What i comprehend Great Expectations 1998 version AFTER watching the 2012 version :
Dinsmoor breed Estella to make a real perfect woman, socially accepted and desirable not just from higher caste, but from a common people as well, like simple Finn. Dragging men to commitment and make their life miserable, and move to another men, without consent of what Estella actually feels. All that fuzz about is for Dinsmoor’s revenge. Not just because she saved her virginity, but also she got crooked by her groom, by marrying her legally, the groom then possesses some of her assets, and dissapear when the groom stole her money legally. That is why Dinsmoor’s mansion looks unattended.
When Finn learned about what Estella is from Dinsmoor, Dinsmoor apologize to Finn not because she feels sorry for him, but she finally realizing she broke Estella heart, cause Estella and Finn falling in love together. Estella’s wounded heart resounding to Dinsmoor, like when her groom leaves her. The pain are greater to weapon that Dinsmoor created to what she intends to do. Dinsmoor trying to apologize, but Estella is on her way to marriage which she loathe.

An amazing experience indeed, the movie never change, my perspective does.

By watching the 2012 version, more twisted plot unveiled and more complex motives run across and starting to make sense for the 1998 version. The 1998 version knows the whole book cannot fit to movie medium, thus a simpler plot are cut off from a whole tragedy, that’s why the 2012 version feels rushed a bit from Joe visiting Pip to the secret benefactor showing up and taking pace. Revealing the whole design and completing the story.

The score for the 2012 version gets the job done, but doesn’t stand out much than 1998 version that seems to dedicate entire movie with Estella fantasy theme. I took the hint of Estella theme in 2012 version at the scene when Pip rides to london and a bit from ending theme, i immediately recognized it, or my brain just made it up for intertwining to 1998 theme

Some story are better left at their literature counterpart, but some story need to be told from different perspective.

After some googling, there are dozens of incarnations but i only want to see the 1946 version and 2011 version. The 1946 version may represent classic movie retelling while the Three-part-BBC-2011 version represent extended duration. I’ve yet to get a hold of those.

What if i watched the 2012 version first then 1998’s afterwards, do my preference changed? Do they still relatable?

TLDR : my subjective, both movies are great, 1998 version is personal, 2012 version is filling the gap.

Internet be damned! There’s no erotic scene!

Leave a reply