Monday, March 24, 2008

NO 1 LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY


I watched the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency based on the novel by Alexander McCall Smith, and filmed on location in Botswana, on BBC1 last night.

I really enjoyed the charming humour, production and superb acting. The stars Jill Scott as Mma Ramotswe, Lucian Msamati as JLB Matekoni, Anika Noni Rose as Mma Makutsi were all memorable and the shots of the Botswana countryside were very impressive.


I have not read the the books and would be interested to know from someone who has if they enjoyed the film, and if the production was faithful to the novel.

We are promised a complete series next year, although the director Anthony Minghella died recently, and I do hope his high standards are maintained.

I shall certainly be watching.


As an interesting side note Idris Elba appeared in a cameo role as local criminal boss Charlie Gotso. Idris is in danger of being typecast as a villain because of course he starred in HBO's brilliant The Wire as Russell "Stringer"Bell, the brains behind the Barksdale drug dealing organisation.

Idris Elba does have a one major advantage in playing the part of a ruthless criminal mastermind having been born in Hackney, East London.

4 Comments:

OpenID maxine said...

I watched it, and enjoyed it. I have read most of the novels, and to be honest they have all merged in my mind a bit, so I am not sure to what extent this first outing stuck to the first book, though I do recall the story of the missing schoolboy -- I think it was darker in the book. All in all it was a fair adaptation and made me laugh and cry -- but I do suggest that the TV series was considerably airbrushed compared with the books. The books are slightly whimsical, but they are unflinching in their depictions of the poverty of this water-poor, land-locked country, their views of disease (AIDS et al) etc. Not in a grim way, but nevertheless, up-front and honest. For example, Precious's back-story was shown briefly but somewhat skated-over: her husband was a pretty ghastly character, perhaps not untypical for the region, either.
I do recommend the books - they are very easy to read and quite charming as well as sad. Precious manages always to be positive and upbeat, yet does not deny the difficulties of living a civilised life in a place that isn't always civilised.
Incidentally, I have totally blanked on the character of the gay hairdresser, so either my memory is appalling or they have made him up for the TV series. Also, the garage owner comes into his own in later books, but I think they have "bought him forward" and made him more of a major character early on, which I can understand from the point of view of sustaining dramatic interest.

The second book, The Kalahari Typing School for Men, should be fun to watch!

5:39 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Thanks Maxine, yet another series of books I must read.;0)

5:46 AM  
Anonymous cfr said...

I saw this on BBC iplayer.

Loved it and yet not a great fan of the novels...

Wish I'd seen it on the big screen and what a wonderful depiction.

Screen and the reading me don't meet, but here I want to read more.

Looking forward to viewing again and reading ...

It was a delight. Those who dare criticise will be victims of our natural earth's quicksand.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

I really enjoyed it but the critics are not happy unless Africa is constantly depicted as a vast refugee camp or Aids ward.

Sometimes you need a little bit of escapism as an example the E.C.Benson TV series Mapp and Lucia was hardly a representation of life in England in the 1920s and 1930s for ordinary people but it was great fun.

10:27 AM  

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