The Secret Garden
I finally got an HBO subscription so now have many films at my disposal (I’ve seen most anyways but still). I also had this film on DVD lying around somewhere but finally decided to watch it. I wasn’t very clear on what the film was about beforehand but the premise sounded like the family friendly fantastical tale that could be worth the watch.
The Secret Garden is about a spoiled girl who lives in India until her parents untimely death. She is then relocated to her uncles mansion where she discovers she has a recluse cousin (who is hidden away) who is sealed off because he is ill and can’t walk. They both travel out to a secret garden which seems to improve his health mysteriously. Along the way, the two form a connection despite initially butting heads. The film is based off the novel of the same name.
The verdict is that this film makes for an enjoyable time. Its an older film so the film could use some digital enhancing to make some of the scenes more vibrant (ahem Blu-Ray treatment). The film has the charm of 90s children fantasy films that movies of today cannot really recreate. While thee child acting is not great and the accents (especially of the child maid) are horrible its forgivable when you think of the films market. The film’s fantastical elements are undertold as it relies on the magic of the garden and placing faith in its spiritual abilities without actually seeing much on screen, which is fine.
The film isn’t an absolute must watch by any sense, nor is it something that many people will have heard of. It is however, a harmless film that captures a bit of the essence of children’s films of the past while establishing inspiration amongst curious kids as they journey into something fantastical together. There’s plenty of cute animals and naturalistic shots for those who would appreciate that sort of thing anymore. Its not a film that would be successful today because of its simplistic presentation and understated visuals, but its solid.