You may remember me writing about being excited to take Pip to watch the new Swallows and Amazons film back in the summer and us both really enjoying the experience. As you also might have seen from my kid’s gift guide a week or so back, I think the DVD would make an excellent Christmas present and lovely family film for Boxing Day.
As an appealing family adventure film, I thought it was excellent. Ransome had a way of turning the ordinary into an adventure, and Philippa Lowthorpe has certainly captured this in a heart warming film. I actually really liked the upscaling of the robbery storyline into a spy story, although I doubt any spy of Ransome’s calibre would have been quite so careless as Rafe Spall’s Captain Flint appeared to be, and it added an element of danger such as would never have been so explicitly articulated by Ransome. As a mechanism for the film though, I thought it worked well if elements seemed slightly forced and super unrealistic. Spall did make a compelling Captain Flint though, if somewhat younger, far less rotund and much more attractive than his character ever read to me as a young child! Kelly Macdonald made a good Mother and I thought Seren Hawkes was an excellent Nancy.
Set in 1935 as opposed to the 1929 of the book, (Andrea Gibb says that they moved the date forward 6 years to be closer to WW2 and therefore make the spy line fit a little better – although I’m not sure that was really necessary) this is in some ways a period piece, which makes for a nice piece of wholesome escapism, albeit perhaps much more along the lines of the times Brexiters harker for than canny observations. I doubt any child watching it would have noticed but at times I felt there was a bit of jarring between the more modern children seeming more worldly than their 1935 characters should have been, yet also oddly incapable in ways that children of that age used to being in the countryside wouldn’t have been.
Pip, when asked which her favourite bit was says “all of it” (although I should note that whilst watching she found the spy climax scene a little scary) and thoroughly enjoyed the outing.
To celebrate the launch of the DVD, I’m really pleased therefore to be able to be hosting a giveaway – enter using the widget below:
Terms & Conditions: 1. To enter the Swallows & Amazons DVD giveaway you must share the giveaway on either Facebook or Twitter and leave a valid link here as your entry. There are additional options for more entries. 2. The prize is a copy of Swallows & Amazons 2016 on DVD and will be sent out directly by the promoter. No cash or alternative prizes will be given 3. The prize draw will start on 12.12.16 and end at 11.59pm on 18.12.16 4. The winner will be picked from all valid entries 5. The winner will be notified directly via email. The winner must reply within seven days of receiving the email or a new winner will be picked at random. 6. I reserve the right to change the entry dates at any time, for any reason.