I finished watching the first two episodes of ‘Wolf Hall’. I was filled with some trepidation when I heard the series was being made, because for the most part, tv and movie adaptations of beloved books never live up to the original text, in my experience. Either the casting is off, too many scenes from the book are left out or the emotions and atmosphere in the book just doesn’t translate on screen. But, as I watched Hilary Mantel’s ‘Wolf Hall’ and the sequel ‘Bring Up the Bodies’ brought to life on screen, I was quite transfixed.
Mark Rylance makes a terrific Thomas Cromwell. He is restrained and mysterious, but still conveys vulnerability by the way he sits and sorrow or determination with his eyes. Damien Lewis makes a decent Henry VIII but Rylance steals the show, as he should. So far, the characters seem to have been cast well. While the first episode was a tad too slow for me, the second episode picked up the pace and was far more gripping.
I read online that many viewers had complaints about the dim lighting in the scenes where candlelight has been used. I thought it was atmospheric and portrayed the mood of the scene rather well. No complaints from me! I am looking forward to the rest of the series. I am also hoping that the last installment of the trilogy will be out soon: maybe to coincide with the end of the tv series? Fingers crossed!