Under Milk Wood

  • 15

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Rhys Ifans has a go at the Richard Burton role in Kevin Allen’s film version of the 1954 BBC radio play – done in English and broadcast after Dylan Thomas death. Allen has a bit of celebrity casting with Charlotte Church as the alive-and-well good-time-girl Polly Garter; but Church is in fact pretty good in the role, a wholesome apple-cheeked type who gets up to all sorts in the woods. Allen's film comes across as a kind of fast-moving fever-dream – appropriately enough, given the swelling tide of fantasy that Dylan Thomas instils in the drama: everyone, and everything, is operating through a sweaty film of lust or delusion. Allen also ramps up what you might call the bawdiness quotient: from the orgasmic yelps in the background of the opening dream sequence, to the continual incidents of jiggling and writhing. With its energy and attack this is an Under Milk Wood that is funny and entertaining, and never gets bogged down.

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