Revisiting films from my younger cinematic years is an interesting study. One of these falling into this category is Lorna Doone. An BBC production based on the novel of the same name, Lorna Doone is one of those historical productions that somehow feels “epic.”
Lorna Doone (2001) BBC Film Review
As a teenager, young John Ridd is witness to the murder of his father at the hands of the powerful and local Doone family. Years later, the anger and sense for revenge festers but John (Richard Coyle) keeps it beneath the surface. Instead he becomes the man of the house helping his mother (Barbara Flynn) run their farm and raising his younger sisters (Joanne Froggatt, Honeysuckle Weeks). Things become complicated when John reunites with the young girl he serendipitously met as a kid.
All grown up now, Lorna (Amelia Warner) is beautiful but under the watchful eye of people who have big plans for her. She becomes a problem when they realize she isn’t going to quietly accept this.
FILM REVIEW | ‘THE LEGEND OF ZORRO’: A FUN BUT OVERLONG SEQUEL‘LORNA DOONE’: A HISTORICAL EPIC ADAPTATION ALTERNATIVE TO ‘OUTLANDER.’ REVIEW OF THE 2001 BBC REVIEW. #LORNADOONE #ADAPTATION #COSTUMEDRAMA #PERIODDRAMA #ROMANCE Click To Tweet
Despite not having seen this for years, I forgot how good this is. Lorna Doone is one of those dramas that feels “big” and while the romance isn’t as big a feeling as it could be, it’s there. This isn’t a TV series so it’s only three hours versus the multiple season and many hours that comes with that. However this kind of reminds of the Starz series Outlander minus the mature content and time travel aspect. It’s has a similar vibe.
The cast is fantastic. It’s a good team of newbies (at least at this time) and vets, which makes it more interesting and complex watching the story play out as they bring these characters together. Everyone from the at-the-time new Weeks and Froggatt to the talent that also includes Michael Kitchen (Foyle’s War) and Flynn who is known from productions like Wives & Daughters. There’s the required sweeping scenery shots too and just everything works together to bring this production to its full potential.
The romance isn’t perhaps quite as swooning as if could be, but it’s still good. It’s equal parts tension and sweet. This is one of those films that the first time I watched it my reaction was “noooo!” in the final moments. It frustrates the viewer (for obvious reasons), makes us feel triumph for characters and love story surprises. The film is well made and definitely an interesting story that is entertaining to watch.
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Content: there’s several bodies lying dead in a field with various injuries. Someone dies from a gunshot wound in the 10 minutes of the film. A family terrorizes people and threatens them with harm. Another man shoots someone for letting someone take his prisoner. There’s comments about a person treating another like a prisoner.
I haven’t seen this version, but I’ve seen the ’80s one with Sean Bean and Clive Owen in it, and I liked it so much, I read the book :-)
I didn’t see that one! I did see Sean Bean in another kind of historical epic though. Cannot remember the name though I didn’t watch it all because it was dragging quite a bit.
Not surprising, as Sean Bean has made a LOT of historical epics and period dramas. I didn’t care for Lady Chatterley or Scarlett, but I liked his version of Anna Karenina. And he’s wonderful in Troy, but my favorite historical drama role for him is Richard Sharpe in the long-running BBC series.
I watched “Scarlett” YEARS ago. I think I liked it at the time but wonder if I would today. Haven’t ever seen a version of “Lady Chatterley” though. :)
Yeah, don’t bother watching Lady Chatterley’s Lover unless you enjoy fast-forwarding through large chunks of movies. That did make it shorter, at least!
I kind of get that vibe from the film. I mean some of them look pretty and I know there are a LOT of versions, but sometimes, some period dramas just aren’t my cup of tea. ;)