Topsy Turvy

May 1st, 2002 DVD Reviews, Film, Filmink

The Film

The story of Gilbert & Sullivan’s near falling out in the 19th century, and how The Mikado saved them.

The Sight & Sound

The musical tracks are lush and sumptuous thanks to director Mike Leigh and his musical director having such an ear for the (ironic) sensuality of music in Victorian England. To improve things (if you have the capability), you can select between Dolby 5.1 or 2.0 surround.

The Extras

Mike Leigh’s commentary is one of the best on any DVD so far. He’s animated, interested in what he’s talking about, and not only gives you the interesting background into filming that you’re after; he’s a walking encyclopaedia of the life and times in the era.

He knows every detail about the history he’s looking at — being the writer as well as director, he has a fantastic feel for the true origins of every set piece, musical number and character in the film.

The Worth

The disc we got was nearly impossible to work out. Whether it had a fault or the controls were simply too garbled to understand, it took five minutes to get anywhere. Shocking design, and if you’re not a fan of historical drama (or musicals) steer well clear. Worth the effort however if you can get your head around the interface.

3 out of 5

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