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The Take (DVD)
Member Name: MsTricia
The Take (DVD)
Advantages: good acting and storyline,gripping, sticks to the book well lots of tom hardy to look at!
Disadvantages: other characters fade into the background a bit sometimes
- Storyline -
The book, and consequently in this series follows the loud, arrogant and destructive Freddie Jackson after his release from prison. At home is his wife Jackie and their 2 kids. Jackie is an alcoholic and has undying love for Freddy despite his constant sleeping around and abandoning them for weeks on end smoking and snorting their money away. In addition we have his younger, more soft cousin Jimmy who looks up to Freddy and is his right hand man. Jimmy is with Maggie (who just so happens to be Jackie's sister!) and they are happy and in love...already a recipe for disaster!
Without spoiling too much of what happens, I will say the episodes are packed with drama, blood and murderous revenge. Freddie is on a one man rampage and will not let anyone stand in his way, and as the plot unravels his character becomes more and more despicable, whilst cousin Jimmy the underdog gains more status - which of course leads to sinister family conflict in more ways than one.
The series pretty much follows the sequence of the book, which I appreciated, and reminded me of many events I had forgotten that occurred. However, there are lot's of twists and turns and of course some of them I expected so wasn't as surprising for me as it would be for someone who had not already read the book.
- Acting -
At the time this was on TV I had recently read the book (as mentioned before) and Tom Hardy's profile for me didn't particularly match the character of Freddie, as in the book he is very arrogant, gangster type from the East End and for some reason in my head I had a visual more of Phil Mitchell from Eastenders! So when I saw the ad the actors all looked wrong for the part, but nevertheless I decided to give it a try and I highly commend the performances by all actors in this drama.
The main character of Freddy Jackson is played by Tom Hardy (swoon!) and he is amazing at playing the cocky, ruthless and vengeful character, only out for himself by any means necessary. I felt Hardy brought a slightly childish element to the role as he portrayed a new dimension by showing how Freddie seems quite petty and easily jealous by his cousin who has everything when he feels Jimmy is only where he is due to his help when he first came out of prison. I don't particularly remember this in the book so I thought it seemed more explanatory and gave the drama more balance in why Freddie is the way he is.
Strangely enough as the main character Hardy as Freddie is absolutely horrible as he rapes and murders his way through life to get what he wants, and I was waiting to want to hate him but there is something within his performance where I couldn't help but just feel sorry for him and even like him as he was charming and cheeky whilst at the same time as being an absolute monster! (This could be due to the fact in real life I have the BIGGEST crush on him!)
As the drama is set in East End London from the early 80s to late 90s I felt he did well at his "swagger" as an East End gangster as it is a far cry from his other performances I have seen him in - Warrior, Inception and The Dark Knight Rises, and it shows his versatility as he did a credible cockney accent which is a first as I am used to his american accent now!
Kierston Wareing was amazing as his down in the dumps wife, desperate for some affection from her philandering husband and turning to alcohol and drugs to keep her mind off the torture she has built up inside her. Living in a council flat she played the role of 80s type "chav" extremely well, and was rarely seen in a scene without either a cigarette or glass of wine in hand! As I have only seen her in british TV programs or films I thought she was apt in this role and it didn't show too much of a side of her I hadn't seen before but she was still on point and played her role down to the dot. In terms of comparison to her character in the book I did think she looked at times a bit too glamorous as opposed to the unkempt, messy alcoholic she is depicted as in the book, which is the reason Freddie stays away as he is embarrassed of her! Nevertheless she played the role brilliantly.
Shaun Evans played Jimmy and to be honest I don't think I have seen him in anything else before this. He was particularly good at playing the shy, quiet, eager to please cousin but he seemed slightly emotionless and a bit boring if I am honest, whereas in the book he seemed a bit more ballsy! In the last episode we see him grow a bit of backbone and stand up a bit but it all seems a bit flaky and to not too believable despite his actions. It sounds weird but I think they could have chosen someone a bit more interesting for this role but he was still an interesting watch.
Charlotte Riley is another actress whose acting I had not seen before, and again in comparison to the book I thought she suited quite well as the timid but beautiful sister who has everything her older sister desires. I felt in terms of air time her character was a bit back shadowed and not highlighted so much, whereas in the book she felt to me a more prominent character in terms of the storyline.
The children actors were all quite good, apart from they didn't seem to say much at times except being in the scene for dramatic presence I assume. Freddie Jnr as a murderous child (sorry to give some small clues away!) I felt was a bit poor in terms of his performance but I think as most his scenes were with Hardy he perhaps could have just been overshadowed.
- Overall -
Overall I really loved watching this and for £4.97 it was well worth every penny. Fans of Martina Cole will love watching it as it incorporates all the aspects she pretty much puts in all her books and it makes for an interesting and gripping watch.
It contains 4 episodes and has a run time of 176 minutes. It is rated 18 I think mainly for the frequent cursing language and there are a few minor violent scenes, but I have seen much worse. There are about 2 or 3 mild sex scenes which aren't too awful but of course little ones should avert their eyes! Disappointingly there are no extra scenes or bonus features on the DVD which I would have liked but nevertheless I am glad I bought it.
I would definitely recommend this DVD to anyone who likes a bit of Martina Cole's writing style and would like to see it on the big screen.
Summary: a thoroughly enjoyable watch