Oliver Twist was novel written by Charles Dickens that had been brought to the big screen. It is about a young orphan boy named Oliver who only tries to stay good in a society of the upper class that refuses to help the people under them. Oliver gets sent into a workhouse once he turns nine and soon finds himself in a gang of pickpockets that work for a man named Fagin. At each turn he is threatened by characters that believe their deliberate cruelty and lack of compassion to be the highest expressions of charity. They continue to insist that things for Oliver will end up working out in the end.
Class and society is one of the main themes in the film of Oliver Twist. The superficialness of class structures emphasize that each individual is the same regardless of their social class into which they were born. But most of the scenes uncover the fact that the Victorian society was cruel and unsympathetic towards the poor because they were so self-absorbed. The Victorian society also firmly believed that the systems taking care of the poor were the most humane systems possible; therefore, leaving nothing for them to help out with.
Another theme in the film of Oliver Twist is poverty. The theme is closely related to the theme of class. But as that theme is concerned with showing how the social class system is just invented by society to justify the existing state of affairs. We can see in this film just how miserable the lower classes really were due to the desperateness of stealing. Oliver Twist, doesn’t shy away from representing the terrible conditions of the poor in all their misery with gritty realism.
Lastly, fate and free will is another theme in the film of Oliver Twist. The characters Oliver, Mr. Brownlow and the Maylies are liberated and live happily ever after at the end while the other characters aren’t able to escape the complications that the city, their social class, and the systems of justice seem to have created towards the people. Certain characters seem to give up their free will at certain points to abandon themselves in the inevitable. Throughout the movie we try to figure out how much free will each character has. We also question how each character is trapped in the systems of social class and if they will be able to make their own choices in the end.
One of the strengths of this film is the inspiring character of Oliver Twist. He continues to believe in his faith in God throughout the entire film, no matter what complicated situation he was going through. Oliver also always believed that the best would come out of everything that was happening and possessed a sincere sorrow at the choices made by some of the other characters in the movie. Oliver’s character was brought to life through depth and the continuation of his faith in God.
The only weakness of this film I would say is probably be the length of it. If you don’t know where the story is going, it can seem to go on for a while for someone who is being introduced to Oliver Twist. But if you look back at the history of movies, many of the best films are quite long. This statement is proven because at the end of the film Oliver gains strength in himself and ends up with a family of his own and surrounded by caring and loving people.
In conclusion, Oliver Twist was worth watching because it truly captures a realistic Victorian era of the slums in London with the gloomy workhouses and the upper class residents who show no interest in caring for the poor. I was definitely surprised by the realism in this movie and how it shows the many faces that evil has. I also thought that the film gave an immense impression of Oliver’s determination to follow what he knows to be right. Although I have not read the novel that this film was based on, I have a good reason to believe that the film most likely did the story justice.
Courtney from Study Moose
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