I have seen the preview for Daniel Deronda in a couple of DVDs. It was the third my mom and I watched in The George Eliot Collection. We were interested in seeing it because Romola Garai (who was Emma Woodhouse in Emma) was in it. Here are some of my thoughts.
|Daniel Deronda (Hugh Dancy), Gwendolen (Romola Garai), |
and Mr. Grandcourt (Hugh Bonneville).
The characters are a mixed bag. On the one hand, you have likable characters like Daniel and Mirah, but on the other hand, characters like Gwendolen are irritating and characters like Mr. Grandcourt are to be hated.
Gwendolen is pretty irritating throughout the whole miniseries: she acts arrogant, and Spoiler marries Mr. Grandcourt because he is rich and because she doesn't want to be a governess. End of Spoiler I'm sorry, but she pretty much walked into all of her troubles. It was pretty much her fault: she tried to control a situation and she never had control at all
It was interesting to see the Jewish society in Daniel Deronda. You usually don't see that perspective in other period dramas. With characters like Mordecai and Mirah, you get a perspective of the Jewish people in 1870's England.
|Gwendolen and Mr. Grandcourt talking|
at an archery contest.
There are some very nice country scenes, and some of the Italy scenes look quite nice too. Some of the overtones to certain scenes were a little darker and drearier than others due to certain aspects of the story being more serious than others. Scenes ranged from country houses and the surrounding areas, manor houses, the Jewish neighborhood in London, and a sea resort town in Italy.
There are some very nice costumes in Daniel Deronda. What is interesting is that the book, from what I've read (as I have never read the book), is supposed to take place in the 1860's; during the 1860's, the crinoline (or hoop skirt) was the fashionable thing to wear. However, in this miniseries, the story takes place in the 1870's when the bustle was the fashionable thing to wear. So, the costumes here utilized the bustle rather than the crinoline.
Mirah's dresses were not as striking as Gwendolen's, but considering she is not as rich as Gwendolen, it is understandable. Her dresses were plainer and had darker colors. They were made out of much simpler material than Gwendolen's dresses.
|Mirah Lapidoth (Johdi May), the singer.|
While not the worst period drama that I've seen, Daniel Deronda isn't the best. There are some positives such as the likeable characters (Daniel, Mirah, etc.) that keep you hoping throughout the story that everything will turn out well for them, lovely scenery to look at, and some of the singing is nice. However, there are some negatives. Gwendolen's character is quite irritating, and though you feel sorry for her at times, you still feel that she had some hand in her suffering. There are some adult scenes and implications, so this is probably not the best thing to show to children. There is a little violence, and a couple of people die (though not through the violence).
Daniel Deronda is available on DVD either in The George Eliot Collection, or just on it's own. It runs for 210 minutes. There are three episodes on one disk.