8:00 PM, 31st March, 2005
Reese Witherspoon is the latest to reincarnate William Makepeace Thackery's Becky Sharp, an ambitious heroine who will do whatever it takes to climb up the social ladder. Directed by Mira Nair (Salaam Bombay, Kama Sutra), who at times lets her Indian heritage create some weird Eastern influenced scenes, Witherspoon is in fine form and ably supported by Bob Hoskins and Rhys Iffans.
Whilst not faithful to the book (but then again not even Jackson could do that with the LOTR trilogy) the film provides a visual feast of colours, imagery and emotion which sustains you when Nair lets things go a little flat. Vanity Fair has been notorious in the past for failing due to the inability of either its director or its actors to capture what the novel is all about.
I felt that this version was the best I've seen of the Vanity Fair reincarnations. Nair and Witherspoon succeed where others have failed by capturing the underlying message of Thackery (written in 1847) and making it relevant to us all. If anything Vanity Fair makes us question our own morals and consumerism and if we too are perhaps a bit like Becky. If you're after a movie that provides a diet of rich imagery, deep thought and reflection then Vanity Fair is for you.