The film “Great Expectations” has a more interesting beginning and has more effect on the reader, than the opening chapter in the novel. The film starts by Mr. Pirrip (Pip as an older gentleman) reading to us the first few lines of the novel. You can only see his hands on the book, when it fades out and re-opens into the story with the camera panning on and around a young Pip. He is running across a bleak, desolate moor with an old wooden gibbet in the background. It is quiet dark and miserable, which also adds to the tense atmosphere.Order now
The camera then moves into a murky, overgrown graveyard, which is full of nettles and thorns. It shows you a tree creaking which looks like a giant hand, which again also adds to the eerie atmosphere. The graves are untidy, crooked and very disorganized. Pip is standing by his parents’ grave (but not the ones of his five small brothers which strangely don’t appear in the film) weeping when Magwitch (the convict) comes from nowhere and shouts, “Hold your noise. Keep still you little devil, or I’ll cut your throat!
” Pip replies quickly and begs for the convict not to. The convict is wearing brownish grey rags and a band around his shaven head. He has no shoes, is very dirty and has a ball and chain around his legs. He didn’t seem to play the part very well and I think he talked much too posh for a convict as did Pip for a young boy. Their speech wasn’t very enthusiastic either and there facial expressions were very wooden. In my opinion the convict could have looked more intimidating.
In the novel Charles Dickens describes the convict in great detail to try and convince us that he looks and sounds very menacing. I personally like the way Dickens describes Magwitch and what way each incident has happened to him. He says: “A man who had been soaked in water, and smothered in mud, and lamed by stones, and cut by flints, and stung by nettles, and torn by briars; who limped and shivered and glared and growled; and whose teeth chattered in his head… “