Oh to visit a quaint English village! Having traveled all over the world in my lifetime, I must say that some of my fondest memories are of staying in bed and breakfasts in the English countryside. Given the right company and setting it can quickly feel like you have stepped into a painting or into a novel. So, what if you were to visit a small English village and become a fly on the wall to see into all of the citizens lives? Welcome to Pagford, the home of The Casual Vacancy, where you can do just that.
Before I get much further into this review I would like to say that I was given a free copy of this DVD to assist in this review by Warner Bros. Entertainment. For full details please read my disclosures found HERE.
I would like to stress to all of you reading this that this film is not for children. My children are both pre-teens and often at this age found doing a sleep over at a friend’s house and with my aggressive health issues are sadly getting the better of me these days, my husband and I have had to get creative with our date nights. Having read the J.K. Rowling book that this was film was adapted from I was so excited to dive into this film, knowing that I would need a large box of tissues, a big bowl of popcorn, and to brace myself for this wild three hour ride.
This three-part miniseries has the help of several well-known and fantastic stars, such as Michael Gambon, whom I personally adore. I must give fair warning that if you are not accustomed to British film or television there will be a fair share of rough language. I found the book somewhat hidden, like a treasured jewel, at my local bookstore. Whether you have read the book or not, do not enter into this film with the expectation of a Harry Potter movie or classic drama like Downton Abbey as this film takes many dark and gritty turns in the quaint little town of Pagford.
Take a seat for just a moment and watch this preview to give you a visual idea about this miniseries releasing to video:
While Pagford is an idyllic picture perfect little English county town worthy of any postcard or painting, you are quickly taken into the lives of the sometimes odd and off the wall characters. And with 23 main characters there are a lot of stories to explore. From the parish council that wants to turn a local historic building that has been a community center into a luxury hotel and spa, to the domino effects it would have for the community. This story is not afraid to dive head first into dealing with death, tragedy, addiction, and just plain troubled townfolk that find themselves on the streets of Pagford.
Here is the official synopsis from the movie: The Casual Vacancy, a three-part mini-series, centers on Pagford, a seemingly idyllic English village with a cobbled market square and ancient abbey. Behind the pretty façade, however, is a town at war. The rich at war with the poor, children at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.
I think this story was very creatively adapted from book to film thanks to the talents of Sarah Phelps with J.K. Rowling’s collaborative assistance; however, I will warn any of you who like myself read the book, the ending does differ from the book. Whether you have read the book or not, I highly suggest sitting down one evening to watch “The Casual Vacancy”. I found that this film falls better under the interesting and thought provoking category, the kind of film that sits that has such rich characters that you find they sit in your mind and thoughts weeks after viewing the film. It gives an unforgiving look at the lives of the citizens who reside in Pagford. There are no rose colored glasses when exploring the citizens of this town. However, no town regardless of its size, is without its own share of turmoil and odd characters.
Plus the DVD comes with these additional special features:
- An Introduction to The Casual Vacancy
- Adapting The Casual Vacancy
- Casting The Casual Vacancy
So, why not mark your calendars to purchase The Casual Vacancy on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD on August 4, 2015 and enjoy it for yourself!