Director: Simon Stone
What The Dig lacks in its pace, it makes up for with its strong characters and interesting plot
What Happens in The Dig?
The Dig is based on a true story that occurs just before World War 2. Basil Brown is hired by Mrs. Pretty to excavate the mounds situated behind her home. They struggle to agree on which mound to dig up, as Mrs. Pretty doesn’t want to pay to have them all explored. Although Mrs. Pretty has a gut feeling about one of the mounds, Basil chooses another one and sticks with it until he gets trapped by the dirt. At this point, he reluctantly agrees to switch and the real story begins
Who Are The Characters in The Dig?
The Dig features two main characters: Basil Brown and Edith Pretty. Brown is an excavator; however, he has no formal training. He was instead trained by his father, who was trained by his father before him. Even without formal training, Brown is a capable individual who is a master in his craft. He is able to deduce the antiquity of objects better than even professional archeologists. Edith Pretty, on the other hand, is the woman who hired Brown to excavate on her land. Pretty is a widow and lives in a big house with her son. Although she puts on a brave front, Pretty suffers from heart problems that stem from her childhood.
The Dig Review
Coming into this movie I had no idea what it was about other than it was historical in some way. What I received was a slow yet interesting film that explored multiple different historical periods while providing good characters. The acting in this film was some of the best I have seen in a movie released this year with solid performances from both Ralph Fiennes and Carey Mulligan.
Ralph Fiennes plays Basil Brown, who is an excavator, who helps unearth the burial ship that became so famous. He is just a man who loves what he does but would like to receive some recognition for his hard work. Carey Mulligan plays Edith Pretty who is a widow who owns the land where the Anglo-Saxon ship is found and she hires Basil to excavate the area. She is fascinated by what could be discovered but she also faces a sickness that is slowly killing her which causes her to worry for her son.
The rest of the cast do great jobs with their roles and I would say no one does a bad job. What makes this story all the more interesting is that it is based on a true story, and it is not a well-known story so it makes it feel new for the audience. The looming threat of the Second World War adds a gloomy feel to the film but also makes it feel as though there is some urgency to get the excavation done before the war really starts.
What made this film work for me is the well-written and acted characters that draw you in and the general intrigue about their findings. The only problem I had with the film is that it is slow, especially at the beginning but it picks up after the dig really begins.
All in all, I thought this was a solid historical drama that if you are in the right mood I would recommend. So hop on Netflix and see what you think.