Picnic at Hanging Rock

Picnic at Hanging Rock

DVD - 2018
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"A penetrating reimagining of the iconic and timeless Australian novel, Picnic at Hanging Rock depicts the mysterious disappearances of three schoolgirls and their governess on Valentine's Day, 1900. The complex, interwoven narrative charts the subsequent investigation and the event's far-reaching impact on the students, families, and staff of Appleyard College and on the nearby township. Theories abound, long-held secrets are exposed, and paranoia and hysteria set in, as in vastly differing ways their lives are changed forever."--Container.

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JCLKarynH Apr 23, 2019

This drama series was not what I was expecting. I hadn't read the 1967 novel by Joan Lindsay that this is dramatizing, nor watched the 1975 film adaption by Peter Weir, so I anticipated a classic whodunit. Instead, I got an intense psychological character investigation of the main players and how the events before and after the ill-fated picnic and restrictive Victorian Australian society affected the inhabitants of Appleyard College and the surrounding community. The ambiance is unsettling and surreal/dreamlike. The ending is frustratingly ambiguous, leaving the viewer to decide what really went down. Natalie Dormer is very engaging and hypnotic as the cold and abusive headmistress of the college, who we learn through flashback is haunted by a dark past that drives her ambitions and downfall. This is not my favorite period drama, but it is interesting and inspires debate.

k
kenc8
Mar 23, 2019

I agree, the original movie was better.

j
Janice21383
Jan 29, 2019

This adaptation is not the worst you will ever see, but the story is somewhat dumbed down and very much stretched out to fill six episodes, and is made with a TV, mostly teenage audience in mind. Natalie Dormer gives the school owner part her all, but the spirit of the late Rachel Roberts hovers around the role. As usual with remakes, it's sad this is the only version many people will know, and they will wonder "what the fuss was about?" It would be an interesting project for a film school student: compare the original book to the Peter Weir film and to this version. What was changed and why? What worked and what did not? NOTE: viewers who fear unresolved endings should know the main occurrence remains a mystery, but there are enough resolved side stories which will probably satisfy you.

b
ba_library
Jan 12, 2019

I borrowed the original film by Peter Weir recently (been awhile since I had seen it) and saw this more recent miniseries. Peter Weir says in the bonus extras on that DVD, that he was attracted to the story because it is a mystery without a solution. I know many people do not like the fact that the mystery has no solution (perhaps that is what made it intriguing for a filmmaker.) I thought the original film was very good—with moody atmosphere and ambiguity (beautifully filmed). I found this miniseries way too long (6 episodes). It develops the characters more, but that doesn’t make the story any more interesting or more conclusive (just long). Now, I need to read the book and see/feel how the story was written.

l
LauraSteinert
Dec 16, 2018

Some of the acting is good, and some left me wondering if it was the actors’ problem or the director’s. It is a bit confusing as the out of sequence scenes just drop in with no warning or change in color. Realistic in many ways—women trying to have a career when there were few socially acceptable ways for women to work, and girls being absolutely beastly to everyone around them. I felt it went on a bit long and more judicious editing would have helped it, and I probably will not be watching it again. Not a good series to watch if you like things nicely explained and all wrapped up at the end.

t
tenet
Sep 24, 2018

Rated 1/10.

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