Few minutes ago I saw the Roman Polanski version of Oliver Twist. I did not like this version and my honest opinion is that the one made back in 1968 was way better – in terms of acting ,cast – cinematic realization in general . This being said I still enjoyed the movie ( at least one bit ) and so did my 11 year old cousin who saw the movie with me. I assume that most of you if not all are already familiar with the popular story written by Charles Dickens which is why I am not going to get in much details about its storyline. Instead I would like to outline the rather unique twist in the version of Roman Polanski – at the end of the movie one actually feels sorry for FAgin ( even my cousin get really sad watching the scene in which Oliver went to the prison to see him- asking me – “….but why he was a very good old man ?” I tried to explain that he was making the boys to steal for him – risking their own life – but I have to admit that my explanations were not that convincing as by the last scene I too felt sympathy for the old fella . After all he was providing food and shelter for the boys – who otherwise could just as well die from hunger in the streets !
After seeing this adaptation of Oliver Twist – I feel a bit angry to myself for letting my cousin watch it and get a first impression about Oliver Twist from it ( he is yet to read the book ).This version has a PG rating – and its plot is seriously sugar coated . At times even I had problems associating the scenes with what I have read , watched ( including several times on the stage ) …etc. ( some subplots are missing as well). And I don`t even want to start discussing the acting – considering that the main character Oliver ( played by Barney Clark ) was not convincing at all.
May be my opinion is a bit biased as I am huge fan of the Musical – but my advice for all of you is to stay away from this movie . Do yourself a favor and look for a copy of the BBC’s 1985 version instead .
Accurate adaptation : 1985 BBC mini-series version
Related : Oliver the musical ( link) I`d do anything BBC talent search ( link) Review (link)