MR MALCOLM’S LIST has all the essential elements of any good Regency drama with a good dollop of scheming, revenge, great direction and cinematography.
There is a joy to be found in its predictability, it is all about the journey rather than the destination. Any comparison to Bridgerton is simply lazy and boring. It’s much more restrained and the actors and scenes are allowed to breathe and do their thing largely down to the assured direction of Emma Holly Jones.
As for the recent crop of remakes, this is not one, but by way of comparison, it is far superior to Emma and Persuasion. It just isn’t looking for cheap laughs or giving knowing winks into the camera – praise be!
The basic premise is that Mr Malcolm (Sope Dirisu) has a list of all his requirements for the perfect wife. When he spurns the advances of the frightful Lady Julia Thislewaite (played with glee by Zawe Ashton), who is then publicly humiliated in a caricature she plots to get her revenge using her fried Miss Selina Dalton (Freida Pinto) as bait. Sope Dirisu and Freida Pinto have great screen chemistry.
Ah yes, as for the casting it works because it too plays with modern assumptions, this film is about the language and story not about which face fits!
I enjoyed it. Just let it wash over you. It’s a fitting end to the summer season!
Mr Malcolm’s List is released in UK cinemas on Friday 26 August.