The Secret Garden was one of my favourite films growing up; although it was never quite as good as A Little Princess. So, when I saw they were doing a remake of it I was pretty excited. I bought the book planning to read it before the new version to be able to compare the two films with that but never got round to reading it… whoops.
The film; like lots in 2020, has gone straight to streaming and is available on Sky Movies. However, we decided to go to the cinema to get the full experience; this was before lockdown 2.0 I’m just late in posting about it. I usually go to Cineworld but since it is temporarily closed we went to Empire in Sunderland. We followed all of the rules and my sister met us there and sat two seats a part from us which was actually okay. I wasn’t buzzing about having to wear a mask through the whole film but actually that wasn’t too bad either.
Anyway the film…
Secret Garden tells the story of Mary (Dixie Egerickx) a recently orphaned girl who travels from India following the the death of her parents to her Uncle’s (Colin Firth) estate in Yorkshire. Picked up from the train station by Mrs Medici (Julie Walters) it is clear that this is not a loving home and Mary spends a lot of time on her own in the grounds; the Yorkshire Moors, where she befriends a dog.
It doesn’t take long for her to discover the house holds many secrets. For one she finds her cousin Colin (Edan Hayhurst) locked in a room led to believe he has a bad back and cannot leave his bedroom. She also discovers a room of jewels with belonged to her late aunt. Obviously, she gets into trouble for exploring a house which isn’t hers, but she is a curious child. Eventually, Mary discovers a secret garden, and with the help of Dickon (Amir Wilson) the servants little brother, she starts to restore it.
The new version is set in a post-war England opposed to the Victorian setting of the original film. It also has more of a magical element suggested than the original film; the garden morphs itself depending on moods rather than evidence that Mary and Dickon worked hard to restore it. Obviously, as I was brought up with the original version of the film I’m not going to think that this version is better BUT I do appreciate that they’ve made a classic story more accessible for the younger generation!
I’d really recommend watching it as its nostalgic and lovely. But I will also be digging out the original at some point. A little bit of Trivia for you though, Colin Firth who plays Lord Craven in this adaptation, apparently played the adult Colin in the original!