Director: Marc Munden
Writer: Jack Thorne, Frances Hodgson Burnett (Screenplay)
Starring: Dixie Egerickx, Richard Hansell, David Verrey, Tommy Gene Surridge, Julie Walters, Maeve Dermody, Colin Firth, Isis Davis, Edan Hayhurst
Plot: An orphaned girl discovers a magical garden hidden at her strict uncle’s estate.
Tagline – Unlock Your Imagination
Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Secret Garden starts as a young orphan girl Mary (Egerickx) finds a new home from her Indian residents back in England with her Uncle Archibald Craven (Firth) a man that is strict with how his home is run, keeping his son Colin (Hayhurst) away from everyone else.
Mary does struggle to adapt to this new way of life, until she finds herself a place on the land, a secret garden, which will continue to give her hope of a better life, away from the pain of losing a loved one.
Thoughts on The Secret Garden
Characters & Performances – Mary has come from the life of luxury in India, where she would have had people wait on her hand and foot, only she finds herself alone in this world with nobody else, given to her estranged Uncle to raise her, she needs to learn to adapt to this world if she is going to make it, with her sense of adventure helping her cope with the loss she has experienced. Mary does come off as very self-centred and selfish, leading her to need to learn to be more accepting of people around her. Dickon is a young man that works the grounds, he befriends Mary as they look to learn more about the secret garden, seemingly close to nature. Colin the son of the uncle that is kept away from everyone else in the house, believing he is ill, Mary is looking to help him break out of this mindset. Archibald Craven takes Mary in, but he is broken after the death of his wife, which leaves him not anting to care about everything else in her life. The performances through this film are solid enough, without being as strong as they should be.
Story – The story here follows a young girl who becomes orphaned and taken in by her estranged Uncle that has closed himself off from the world, the young girl gets curious discovering a beautiful garden that brings her the first bit of light in her life for a long time, a place she wants to use to help cure the whole family. This is a story that is focused on showing how people will be dealing with loss in a different way and will need help to get over the biggest changes in their life. The magical side of the story doesn’t seem to hit hard enough and the characters do feel overly stuck up for us to get behind though.
Themes – The Secret Garden does use the colour pallet to show the different location, with the beauty of the location of happiness, while the darker colours inside the estate, showing it is a place left in darkness, that needs light bought back into after the tragedy around it.