After reading Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray, I of course had to watch the 2004 film based on the book. The movie stars Reese Witherspoon as Becky Sharp. My main complaint about this film is that it tried to fit the entire 700-page book into less than two and a half hours. As a result, it has a tendency to skim the surface of everything that happens without ever going much into detail with the characters and their struggles.
On the plus side, though 2.5 hours seems like a really long movie, the story did move really quickly. It didn’t feel like I was sitting there watching for so long. Perhaps this is in part due to the fact that no one scene dragged out very long, nor did the film spend a lot of time on any one event or theme. The quick pacing of the film made the time spent watching it go by fast.
Another pleasant surprise from this film: Jonathan Rhys Meyers. I had no idea he was in this movie when I sat down to watch it; I was really excited when I found out he was. However, I didn’t quite like him as being George Osborne. In my mind, Jonathan Rhys Meyers always makes a great villain, but George isn’t really villainous; he’s just selfish. So even though I don’t necessarily agree with the casting choice, the actor was still nice to watch.
In the end, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this film to people who haven’t read the book. I think it would be hard to follow, the audience never quite understanding why anything is happening. That being said, it’s not a bad representation of the book, just a bit thin.