Maggie John reviews the remake of Rebecca, a film originally adapted by Hitchcock from Daphne Du Maurier’s novel, Rebecca.
The remake of Daphne De Maurier’s 1938 Gothic novel and Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 film, by director Ben Wheatley, has been highly anticipated, boasting an impressive cast including Armie Hammer, Lily James, and Kristin Scott Thomas. However, there’s a real mix of reviews with critics claiming it’s underwhelming and disappointing. Having read the book a few years ago I had certain expectations of what the film would entail however I enjoyed it and thought it really grasped some of the key points which turned De Maurier’s novel into a classic.
The cinematography was absolutely beautiful and there were several stunning and also powerful shots of the coast which I understood to be very key to the storyline. It really demonstrated the glamour of the late 20s and the early 30s, particularly in Monte Carlo. The costumes, which have been highly criticised by some, played a hugely important role and I thought designer Julian Day did an excellent job.
I was intrigued to see how the eery and powerful reminder of Rebecca was portrayed, and I have to say I thought it was done very well particularly when they first arrive at Manderley.
It could even be argued that the film is in fact more powerful than the novel in promoting the impact of Rebecca because it is so visual with Rebecca’s bedroom, for example, which created the feeling of being ghost-like and the visualisation of Mrs. De Winter’s nightmares were also very powerful. Mrs. De Winter’s name is never revealed, like in the novel, which was very important in emphasising the influence of Rebecca. Kristin Scott Thomas did an immaculate job of playing Mrs. Danvers and really harnessed her cruelty and dedication to Rebecca.
Although I understand certain criticisms of the film, I did enjoy it and really appreciate certain aspects which were captured so well.