Review: The Personal History of David Copperfield

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Dev Patel shines as he brings Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield to life in a beautiful film that features top-notch acting, though is devoid of proper character development and storytelling momentum. 

The Personal History of David Copperfield condenses the many twists and turns of the titular character’s lifetime into a 2-hour film that explores love and loss, poverty and greed. Boosted by star-studded performances by Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, and Peter Capaldi, writer/director Armando Iannucci has crafted a dazzling spectacle that is brought down by lackluster plot development and anchored pacing. This adaptation of the renowned Dickens story drains the source material of any emotion, reducing the characters to mediocre guideposts for Copperfield challenges and triumphs.

The stunning locations, use of bright colors, and charming period ensembles fail to make up for the dull humdrum of this attempt to bring the narrative to life. Inspired acting aside, this is a forgettable adaptation that even Dickens enthusiasts will struggle to accept.

Rating: 2/5

Photo from Deadline

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