Into Film Project: 12 – Under Milk Wood

The next film (albeit out of order) in my Into Film Project is Under Milk Wood for Dylan Thomas’ birthday on 27th October. As he died on 9th November 1953, it seems fitting to post this review now. I watched the recent BBC adaptation, originally aired on 26th October 2014 to celebrate the centenary of Thomas’ birth.

The format of the production was unexpected, although understandable considering its description as a ‘play for voices’. You probably need to pay much more attention to it than I did to really understand the plot, as I certainly did not have a clue what was going on. However, for anyone who is prepared to give the hour long programme their full attention, particularly those interested in literature, I would definitely recommend it.

The casting in the film was truly fantastic. A who’s who of Welsh stars, it showcased the talents of the likes of Tom Jones, Eve Myles and Michael Sheen, along with many many others. Each scene brought me many gasps at the new stars involved and the vocal talents of Katherine Jenkins were also much welcomed.

The other aspect of the adaptation I loved was the subtle modernisation of the play. Technology was abundant yet it did not overshadow the power of Thomas’ words and was mingled seemlessly into the story, with video calling taking a key role: not surprising when the film consists of separate shots of individuals cut together to form a coherent story.

A superb cast bring Dylan Thomas’ literary work to life in an up to date fashion, but concentration is needed to truly appreciate the production. Two stars.


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