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I Capture the Castle (2003)

I Capture the Castle (2003)

Romola GaraiRose ByrneBill NighySophie Stuckey
Tim Fywell


I Capture the Castle (2003) is a English movie. Tim Fywell has directed this movie. Romola Garai,Rose Byrne,Bill Nighy,Sophie Stuckey are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2003. I Capture the Castle (2003) is considered one of the best Drama,Romance movie in India and around the world.

The film follows 17-year-old Cassandra Mortmain, and the fortunes of her eccentric family, struggling to survive in a decaying English castle. Her father is desperate to repeat the spectacular success of his first novel, but hasn't written a word for 12 years; her exquisite sister Rose can only rail against their fate, and their Bohemian step-mother Topaz is a nudist and no help at all. Salvation comes in the form of their American landlord Simon Cotton and his brother Neil. Although initially repelled by Simon, Rose is determined to make him fall in love with her and succeeds. A wedding is arranged and Cassandra is left on the sidelines as everyone around her is drawn into a maelstrom of interconnected relationships. But events spiral out of control, and before the summer ends she will experience frustrated desire, first love, and a broken heart.


I Capture the Castle (2003) Reviews

  • A Weird Family, Devilish Comedy, Roiling Drama


    How many viewers of "I Capture the Castle" have a legal background and understand the humor underlying the family name of the central characters, "Mortmain?" Literally, "mortmain" means "Dead Hand" and in law it denotes the attempt of a person to control his property postmortem. The humor here is that the paterfamilias, James Mortmain (well played by Bill Nighy) is a dried up author who hasn't penned a word since a successful novel of twelve years past. He claims to be working on a new book, an assertion that may be face-saving but is of dubious credibility. James has a past that the family neither wishes to remember nor can face seeing its reappearance (can't reveal what that is, can I?). When still at the top of his game Mortmain and his then wife (who later dies, no foul play here) and his two little girls stumbled upon a rodent infested castle which he leased. Jump quite a bit ahead to a now remarried Mortmain who lives in the still unrestored castle with his new, young, artist wife, Topaz (the beautiful, funny and accomplished Tara Fitzgerald) and his two teenage daughters, an appropriately mischievous little son and a sort of retainer in farm clothes, young Stephen. The family is now, as the English say, "on their uppers." Rose (Rose Byrne) is a gorgeous redhead solely obsessed with marrying out of the castle into the squirearchy or at least the solvent. Younger sister Cassandra (Ronola Garai) is engagingly wise, funny and bewildered at the changes that overtake her family when two young Americans succeed to the ownership of a manor that encompasses the castle (for which rent is long overdue). The sisters' close, interdependent relationship is warmly portrayed. So Rose pursues one of the Americans, Cassandra deals with first love, spurning one suitor while secretly pining for another. An interweaved subplot has Topaz and then Cassandra desperately acting as James's muse, seeking to ignite what may well be the drenched sparks of a one-novel author. As would be expected of a drama set in England in the 1930s before the hideousness of war returned are the inevitable class clashes, both economic and trans-Atlantic. What would a film like this be without a formal dining room scene replete with persiflage and the ominous threat of words said that can not be retracted? "I Capture the Castle" has a strong cast but Cassandra is the centerpiece as she shows developing resolve and growth. Her appeal is irresistible. She's the younger sister many have fantasized but few have had. Ms. Garai is marvelously believable. Yes, the film is in the Merchant/Ivory and Masterpiece Theatre vein but what's wrong with that? I liked most of the characters and rooted for calm but troubled Cassandra and frenetic but basically good Rose. 7/10.

  • Good movie, better book


    This movie was not a bad movie -- as simply a movie, it is more than watchable. But seeing it days after I finished the book, I was disappointed. Perhaps this was as good an adaptation as any anyone could have made, but I felt something lacking. A certain tone that the book had and the movie didn't. I suppose that's the problem with adapting books into films. They can never be quite the same substance. 17 year old Cassandra is witty and somewhat quirky, which in the book, comes across in her writing. The characters are sharp, original, and real. The movie attempted to capture them -- and it was a valiant attempt. But no picture is a substitute for Cassandra's commentaries, and as a result, some of the characters fell flat. James Mortmain, in particular, became merely a moody has-been writer when he was a comical, as well as violent man in the book. Don't get me wrong; I think Bill Nighy played the character well -- but he was never a source of comic relief in the film, whereas I found him hysterical in the book. The character of younger brother Thomas was also transformed, from a mildly interesting young man into the utterly different nerdy little brother. This was no loss at all cinematic ally, for putting the Thomas we met in the book on screen may have made for one-too-many interesting characters. It just made me a bit sad. The casting was good, though Marc Blucas was unemotional and forced as the charismatic Neil Cotton. The script surprised me, deviating from the book in story line very rarely. The dialogue and narration, though often different, fit with the essence, if you will, of the story. My main complaint has to do with the last scene, so beware... *spoilers* The last lines of the book were, "I love you, I love you, I love you" left open for interpretation. The last lines of the movie were completely cliché and flat -- "I love, I have loved, I will love." That may be true, but it seemed an unnecessary and dulling change. That whole scene between Cassandra and Simon was like that. It almost seemed like an insult to the viewer's intelligence. Do they think we can't understand a little well placed subtlety? The dialogue was so blunt and out in the open, whereas the ambiguous quality of the dialogue in the book was one of the reasons I like it so much. All in all, the movie is worth a watch if you have some spare time, but the book is worth a read even if you don't.

  • Along with our hearts.


    This is such a wholly captivating romantic study in human values with deep personal growth for basically all the main characters, that it's like a breath of fresh air in comparison to the sleaziness of what gets regularly stamped out by the Hollywood machines. On one level it's a `coming of age' story, in that it is presented from the point of view of an adolescent girl's search for meaning in life, but it is so much more than just that. The relationship issues are strong and poignant, never tawdry or sensational. People make mistakes for all too human reasons, but they also learn from them and grow. We are left with a sense of hope and inspiration, and not just a fairytale promise. The details of the story are not otherwise important as an introduction. It is wonderful to see!

  • Good, but not as good as the book.


    I read Dodie Smith's 'I Capture The Castle' about three years ago and found it a charming and engrossing read. I looked forward to the film and have just watched on the BBC. I was pleasantly surprised with the film because I thought that it would put people off the book but the casting was very good for all of the characters. The main problem was the fact that with the book, it is written as a diary with Cassandra's thoughts about everything but in the film, the viewer just got a brief comment about the several situations. Despite this, the film was sweet and the actress playing Cassandra is perfect. Not exactly how I imagined it but films hardly ever beat the books. I give it 7.5/10

  • Satisfaction with a tinge of sadness


    I do not know why but periodic films always get me and leave me in awe. I Capture the Castle does leave me in awe and also leaves me with the warm feeling of satisfaction. Cassandra Mortmain (brilliantly potrayed by Romola Garai -also known for her television works, most prominently Attachments-) moved from London to a countryside castle with her family when she was young. Reason being for the move is that her father (Bill Nighy); an author made famous by his first bestseller, wanted to stimulate his creative juices to write another novel. Unfortunately, it has been 12 years since he has written anything and this has affected the Mortmain family financially. Cassandra's older sister Rose, laments about this and wishes to escape from the deepening poverty they are enduring. This changed however with the arrival of two american brothers; Simon (Henry Thomas) and Neil Cotton (Mark Blucas). Simon is the new landlord of the land that the Mortmains are renting. Their arrival has stimulated the emotions of curiosity, lust and love in those two girls. Rose, although initially wary of Simon is soon smitten by him and has agreed to marry Simon. From that point (for which I shall not spoil), we see Cassandra drawn into the centre of interwoven relationships. Some twists did occur although not very suprising, neither are they predictable. Having seen Romola Garai's acting in Attachments, I find her underused in the television series. In Castle, she gives a colourful range of emotions. From what I can tell, the sadness or the joy is as real as it is. Another thing is that her narration (also written in the journal she writes in the movie) interspersed in most of the scenes, gives the audience an insight to her feelings and her deepest fears. I feel that there is more to come from this talented young actress and hopefully it will be good. Another thing to note is the recreation of 1930's England. Brilliant, glamorous are in the dinner scenes, the girls trip to a London department store and the dance clubs. Quaint are the scenes in the countryside and also the gloominess from the weather. Humour? There are with Thomas Mortmain and Topaz Mortmain (delightfully played by Tara Fiztgerald; loved her 1930's 'hippie' bohemian act) supplying the punchlines and the laughter. With all the side stories aside, I feel Castle was meant for audiences to see Cassandra's coming of age and how she deals with the plethora of emotions that hits her. I just left the cinema feeling warmly satisfied but with a tinge of sadness.


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