The Secret Garden 2020 focuses on a 10-year-old girl named Mary Lennox who was born to a wealthy British family in India who didn’t want her. When Lennox’s parents die, he is sent to England to live with his uncle Archibald Craven (Colin Firth). She meets her cousin Colin and the two children there. The children found a miraculous hidden garden near Misselthwaite Mansion.
10-year-old Mary Lennox (Dixie Egerickx) has just lost both her parents. But she hasn’t lost her will to live or her aristocratic ways. She doesn’t eat the food that is below her taste and expects to be dressed up by the servants. She is placed under the care of her uncle Archibald Craven (Colin Firth) at a lonely and secluded estate called the Misselthwaite Manor in Yorkshire. Surrounded by nothing but the haunting moors for acres, the manor is just as cold as its occupants. While a grief-stricken widower Craven keeps to himself, the housekeeper Mrs Medlock (Julie Walters) is stern and uptight. She warns Mary not to go ‘exploring or poking’ around the house, but curiosity gets the better of Mary, when she keeps hearing distant wails in the night. Soon, she discovers her cousin Colin (Edan Hayhurst) – Craven’s immobile son, who is unwell for years. Mary also finds a secret garden, alongside the manor, where she befriends a dog and names it Jemima. The enchanting pull of the garden convinces Mary that it is magical with healing powers.
Just as Mary’s vivid imagination, director Marc Munden and his team give us a deeply mesmerising fantasyland that is replete with colourful flora and fauna, flowing streams, morning mist and lush green trees. The mystery of what exactly the garden stands for, keeps the viewer invested in Munden’s slowly unfolding family drama. From Mary’s perspective, we get to see a curious unraveling of the various facets of the garden and also a deeply dysfunctional family. There is a curious sense of unpredictability and tension due to the ashy tones of the house. The juxtaposition of the garden’s vibrancy and the estate’s deathly gloom, lend the film’s unhurried screenplay, a sense of suspense. Add to that the expansive cinematography (by Lol Crawley) makes it a visual spectacle. Also, the immersive background score, costume and production design, all successfully translate into a period costume drama.
The Secret Garden 2020: An outwardly rich razzle-stun of creative mind
Little Dixie is the life of The Secret Garden 2020, playing Mary with aplomb. Right from her opening scene, where she is scrounging for food to fearlessly following her gut and taking on a very hostile family, Dixie delivers a promising performance. The two teenage boys Edan Hayhurst and Amir Wilson, who play Colin and Dickon respectively, make the most of their limited roles. In comparison, seasoned actors like Firth and Walters have precious little to do.
But ultimately, all of them and all of it is in service of a very workable script that tries too hard to make us believe in the magic of the garden – something that should come naturally, anyway. In doing so, the writing only succeeds in translating the magic of the book into The Secret Garden 2020.
The Secret Garden 2020 Rating – 5.5/10
Also check other movie reviews!