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Bonnie & Clyde DVD review

Bonnie & Clyde is a well-known story of two lovers whose crime-sprees made them infamous as they evaded the law and became more and more famous. The story has been adapted for the small screen with Holliday Grainger and Emile Hirsch playing the ill-fated lovers. The movie was screened over two nights on the Lifetime channel in the UK a few weeks ago.

When you think of Bonnie & Clyde you instantly think of the 1967 critically-acclaimed movie starring Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty. At the time of the film’s release it was considered shocking and controversial but now it’s considered a classic. Watching this new adaptation of the story will inevitably have you drawing comparisons between the two.

Directed by Bruce Beresford this new version tells the story of the notorious criminals from childhood to their demise after shocking the viewer with the image of their dead bodies in the car at the very beginning. A new twist for this version if the idea that Clyde had the unique ability to see the future which feels a little far-fetched. A solid performance from Hirsch enables you to get past that niggle and he embodies Clyde rather impressively.

Opposite him is Holliday Grainger as Bonnie and she brings an air of whimsy to the role. It’s no secret that Bonnie was obsessed with fame and that element is pushed to the fore. Grainger turns in a strong performance and is believable as the driving force behind the duo. Her mother is played by Holly Hunter who always brings gravitas to any role she plays.

Elizabeth Reaser (best-known for Twilight and Grey’s Anatomy) plays eager reporter P.J. Lane. She is intent on pursuing the couple and following their exploits and despite slight under-development in this plot strand she manages to make her performance one that stands out.

Part of the problem with Bonnie & Clyde is the pacing. At nearly 4 hours long it takes quite a while to get going and the second half is certainly stronger than the first. Whilst it’s interesting to see the childhoods and the events that shaped both characters it delays the part of the story you are desperate to see.

The release is packaged with a second disc containing three featurettes. These look at the story of Bonnie & Clyde as well as Grainger and Hirsh’s transformation to portray them.

Bonnie & Clyde is a decent adaptation of a well-known story but it will leave you wondering why anyone thought it a good idea to remake it. The 1967 film will always be the definitive version so perhaps this was a labour of love for director Beresford or an attempt to bring the story to a new audience. Either way it’s a solid effort but it’s not particularly remarkable.

Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip is the Editor of Entertainment Focus and the Managing Director of agency Piñata Media.

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