Pssst, want to check out The Dig in our new look?
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There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it — it’s all very nice and well done — but that’s also kinda the problem. I mean, it’s fine. It’s cozy. My mum and nan both loved it. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Beautifully made picture, visually and in sound. Some of the shots in the beginning make you think of a Netflix version of Terrence Malick. Just don't expect it to be as deep (well, who would).
The Dig - detailing the events of the impressive archaeological discovery at Sutton Hoo just as World War II was about to break out - is, like the landscape it takes place in, not unlike a relaxed rainy afternoon. There's an occasional thunderclap, yes, but for the most part, it's very British film making, country estates and stiff upper lips and all that. Now, there's a lot of value in showing actual archaeological work, as these stories usually involve tomb robbing, deadly traps and the occasional mummy, but don't worry, the British Museum is still kind of the villain. And of course, the cast is impeccable. True stories can sometimes meander or lurch in terms of plot, and it happens here. We're asked to care about many characters, and Lily James's is one, but only shows up mid-film. Where the movie I think transcends the genre is its subtle theme of essentially uncovering the truths of these various characters the same way the excavators are uncovering the deep past. These people have pasts, hinted and exposed, and a Peggy-come-lately is like that sudden discovered object that changes the focus of the dig. And then there's the whole matter of academics sidelining the real discoverer, and so the film itself is a dig into the past to set the record straight. It succeeds better there than structurally.
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!