17 July 2017

The Girl with All the Gifts

The Girl with All the Gifts 2016
  • Director: Colm McCarthy
  • Based on the book by M R Carey
  • Cast: Sennia Nanua, Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close, Paddy Considine, Fisayo Akinade, Anamaria Marinca
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Gemma Arterton – The Boat that Rocked, Quantum of Solace, Lost in Austen
    • Glenn Close –Mars Attacks!, 101 Dalmatians, Mary Reilly, The House of Spirits, Hook, Meeting Venus,  Sarah Plain and Tall, Hamlet, Reversal of Fortune, Dangerous Liaisons, Jagged Edge, The World According to Garp
    • Paddy Considine – Macbeth, The World’s End, My Summer of Love, In America, 24 Hour Party People, Born Romantic
    • Anamaria Marinca – River, Doctor Who, Wallander
  • Why? Good book
  • Seen: 14 July 2017      

       The book is the Stockholm sci-fi book circle’s choice for August. Hal and I have now read it; we’re very curious about the film.
       In a military barracks, children are locked in cells. When they are taken out to go to school they are chained into wheelchairs, hands, head and feet strapped in while soldiers aim machine guns at them. They are not considered human. They are there as objects for scientific research. Why are these children intelligent, but also ‘hungries’, the mindless living dead infected by the fungus that has killed most of the human race?
       One of the girls, Melanie, is especially intelligent. One of the teachers, Miss Justineau,  regards the children as human and is especially fond of Melanie.
       When the base is attacked by a mob of hungries Melanie, Miss Justineau, hard-core Sgt Parker, another soldier and chief scientist Doctor Caroline Caldwell – who had just been about to dissect Melanie’s brain and who continues to refer to her as ‘the test object’ – escape in a tank.
       In constant danger from hungries, and each other, they do what they must to survive in the dying hostile world around and in London.
       Words like heart-breaking, heart-warming and humane come to mind. As well as incredibly suspenseful.
       Closely adapted to the book in the beginning it strays in the second half but finds its way back in the end. There could not be a better Melanie than young Sennia Nanua, Considine is always good, Arterton does well as Miss Justineau and this is possibly Close’s best role.
       How much one who has not read the book will get of the depth and complexity of the novel is hard to say but with the book fresh in one’s memory it holds together well. Its visual strength makes up somewhat for the severe abridgment of the novel.

4 * of 5   


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