Monday, March 26, 2007

Oliver Twist

Chilled Weekend?

This was one of the rare weekends where I've not stepped out of the house for 2 full days. I didn't do things I wanted to - like going to a doctor, getting my bike wheels checked at the service center, or a meeting with old collegues and a friend who had just returned from US. But I told myself not to feel guilty about it - to take it easy for a change.

Oliver Twist - The Sunday Night Movie

Sunday night 9PM, Star Movies - I watched Oliver Twist, a movie made out of Charles Dickens' classic, made by Roman Polanski (I hope I got the name right). Back in school, they had arranged for a video of an old B&W movie by the same name, and I hated it. I somehow couldn't completely read the book. But then, this movie I saw was in color and the viewing experience was as different as color and B&W. This time, I was moved by the little boy - destined to be tried and tested by several twists and turns.

An orphan is pushed to an orphanage, where he is punished for asking for more food, 'even after being served once.' He goes to work in a nearby house, where he is bullied by a taller boy, and runs away. He stumbles upon a milestone - 70 miles to London. En route, an old lady feeds the frail boy who had not eaten for days. Once in London, a gang of street kids find him and take him to Fagen - an old man who teaches how to steal, pick-pocket and then shares some food with the destitute kids. On his first mission, Oliver is caught as a suspected thief. The Gentleman realizes the boy is innocent, and takes him home and cannot avoid falling for the innocent, mild but well-mannered little boy. He hoped to adopt him. But as fate always does, the boy is tracked by his old mates and is taken back to Fagen. A couple of guys plan to take the boy to the gentleman's house one rainy night to steal the wealth. In the bargain, the boy's hand is shot and taken back to Fagen's den. Now, the boy must be eliminated - before he wanders out and speaks about the guys' identities to the Gentleman and/or police. A lady in Fagen's house, related to one of the guys who had planned robbery, meets the Gentleman and alerts the danger the boy is in. The guy learns this, and beats the lady to death - and eventually, he is caught by the police, along with Fagen and his kids.

Oliver is adopted by the gentleman, but then he is sad. He wants to meet Fagen in the cell before he is hanged by the police. That scene in the cell almost brings tears to the viewer. Through out the movie, you can't but help praying that the little Oliver Twist doesn't have to go through what he does. You care for him as your own. Or was it the actor boy who played the character so well? Or was it the Author who has weaved the viewer into this web of Oliver?

Movie or the book?

I highly recommend this version out of the several movies made on Oliver Twist. Alright folks, let me sink into the actual book itself - I've always believed that a movie made out of a book cannot have more than 30-50% of the book's content. Should you watch a movie first, or read the book? Well, for me, watching the movie before reading the book works best - that way, I wouldn't be disappointed by the movie. Plus, when you read the book, you get the visuals in your head from the movie.

Planet PDF - Free PDF eBooks - Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens - Project Gutenberg
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