Film You will leave Nicholas Nickleby feeling pleasantly surprised. As one of Dickens' less known works (by which I mean if someone stopped you in the street and asked you to name one it wouldn't the first thing that dribbles from your lips) I'm sure there aren't that many people my age who will have actually read it. Admittedly when I entered I had no idea what was to come. I expected 'the usual'. Grim smoke filled London streets filled with starving urchins and characters warn away by life fighting again the prosperous. For the first half an hour that's exactly what happens as Nickleby loses his father and finds himself working in a country boarding house filled with hatred and suffering. Despite the slightly jokey opening voiceover you will glance at your watch and wonder how long you've got.

But then our hero makes a very strong, very motivating decision and suddenly everything brightens up and his journey begins. And for some reason the audience is inspired to stay with him as the episodes of his life play out. The trouble with writing a review of a film like this is that the real joy is in the surprises, of story and casting, which need to be kept under wraps for a truly pure experience. This is one of those films you remember watching when you were young in which almost every character is played by someone you've seen before and loved; for real effect, shut your eyes or look down at your popcorn during the credits. I will tell you to look out for the bright pink horse or Tommy from Trainspotting so you can see what kind of a film this is. So go and be pleasantly surprised.

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