Coming to Bluray, DVD and Digital from director Marc Munden, STX Films and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the struggle for beauty until they find THE SECRET GARDEN.
Mary (Dixie Egerickx) is living in India during their revolutions. After losing her parents, she is found alone in her home and sent to Uncle Archibald Craven (Colin Firth) in England. Arriving, she is met by Mrs. Medlock (Julie Walters) and told that the life she once knew is not going to be the same. Given instructions about where she can and cannot go in the house, Mary is left alone in a very depressing room.
The next day she meets Martha (Isis Davis) and learns she has a younger brother Dickon (Amir Wilson) who roams the moors. Staying out of the way of everyone in the house, Mary finds solace in walking through the woods, especially when she meets Jemima – a stray who befriends the young girl. Meeting her uncle, Mary sees a very sad and angry man who hasn’t gotten over the death of his beloved wife.
Following Jemima one day, Mary discovers a wall and behind it is a wonderful garden. She takes Dickon there and it becomes their special place. Roaming the house, Mary also discovers Cousin Colin (Edan Hayhurt) who is bedridden and believes he is ill. The one thing she has in common with her cousin is feeling unloved by their parents.
But Mary wants to help her cousin by taking him to the garden introducing him to the beauty and the history between their mothers. Mrs. Medlock is not happy about what Mary has been doing and sets it up to anger Mr. Craven enough to send Mary away to boarding school. It all turns into chaos when a fire changes everything.
But not the secret garden!
Egerickx as Mary goes through a traumatic experience with the passing of her parents. Building up her own personal wall, she is not moved by her new home and its curious rules. Egerickx gives us the curiosity with her exploring the grounds as we all would at that age. When she finds the garden, it becomes her refuge from all the trauma and gives this character a chance to bloom like the plants around her. It’s a beautiful portrayal.
Firth as Craven is a man living with the painful memories all around him yet he shuts them up in rooms and drowns them in drink. Not wanting contact with those under his own roof, he takes isolation to the extreme. Firth is amazing at portraying this sadness as with many of the roles he has done especially with period pieces such as this film.
Walters as Mrs. Medlock is straight forward and a stickler for the rules. Clearly, she isn’t happy with having Mary around and makes every attempt to find a reason to send her away. Walters is just a wonderful actress who I have been following ever since seeing her in the 1983 film EDUCATING RITA. After that I have watched everything she has done and have experienced a career that is outstanding.
Wilson as Dickon is the most non-judgemental person in Mary’s life. He sees her pain and instead of making it worse, he silently teachers her to enjoy the garden as she experiences what he can do as well. Hayhurt as Colin is wild in a different way than Mary but just as uninformed about the truth regarding his parents. Once called out on his behavior, he becomes more aware of life and its possibilities. Davis as Martha sees that Mary is different but knows more about what has gone on in the house than she lets on.
Other cast include David Verrey as Jeremy, Maeve Dermody as Alice, Anne Lacy as Mrs. Pitcher, Richard Hansell as George, Tommy Surridge as Billy, Rupert Young as Marcus, Jemma Powell as Grace and Sonia Goswami Ayah.
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us to all experience and re-experience in our own home theaters. There are films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.
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The Bonus Features on Bluray, DVD and Digital are Characters – Learn more more about the beloved characters of THE SECRET GARDEN and how the actors who played them brought them to life in a new and imaginative way, Concepts to Reality – From the majestic design of Misselthwaite Manor, to the creation of the enchanting garden, see how the filmmakers created the most immersive telling of THE SECRET GARDEN yet, full of vivid and magical realism, Page to Screen – A look behind the scenes of THE SECRET GARDEN and how the timeless, best-selling novel was brought to life in a modern, vivid and magical way and The Official Trailer.
THE SECRET GARDEN is a story from the classic novel The Secret Garden by author Frances Hodgson Burnett. It has been made and remade several times, but the heart of the story doesn’t change. The duality of the world being cold and gray and finding a world of beauty and tranquility transfer from page to screen.
The trauma of Mary is tragic, but she discovers that there are so many different kinds of tragedy and that others experience it in different ways. The one thing they all share is the heavy sadness of trying to go through each day without letting it rule them. Mary does this by becoming the explorer of the estate and the garden which allows her to help Colin as well.
The cinematography is another character of the film because the estate and its initial surroundings are grey, dull and feel lifeless. When the garden is introduced to us, it becomes a place of color, beauty and imagination that all feels like hope. That is important in telling this particular story and works extremely well.
Gather the family and join in the adventure of finding happiness with THE SECRET GARDEN.
In the end – unlock your imagination!