11 January 2006

I Capture the Castle (starring Romola Garai)

I'm not entirely sure how this DVD found its way to our rather scanty shelves (at least so far). Perhaps it was a special offer, in conjunction with something else. I was probably struck by the fact that 'I Capture the Castle' is an adaptation of a book by Dodie Smith, who is probably best known for the delightful children's book 'The Hundred and One Dalmations'.

We really had no idea what to expect when we sat down to watch this DVD as a family. The UK rating is PG and I suppose I had assumed that it would be a children's film. I was mistaken! It's rather a 'gothic' style of film, narrated by a teenager called Cassandra (Romola Garai) who lives in an old and draughty castle with her beloved sister Rose, and her frustrating father, who once had a book published, but seems now to have lost his muse entirely.

The whole thing requires a suspension of reality, and the plot seemed over-complex to me, but the whole was well done and - basically - we enjoyed it. I would perhaps have liked it more if I'd known what to expect, as it was an odd story, but there are some amusing parts and we found ourselves more and more drawn in as we watched.

The UK rating for 'I Capture the Castle' is PG, which slightly surprised me as there are some rather revealing scenes which would, I felt, have merited at least a 12 rating. I doubt if it would be of any interest to anyone younger than twelve, anyway. However, the US censors evidently went to the other extreme, since it's rated R (18) in America - odd for the film version of a novel which was originally written for teenagers.

Review copyright Sue's DVD Reviews