The tale of Oliver Twist is one that has been reinterpreted in many ways since beginning life as one of Charles Dickens’ most defining pieces of literature nearly 200 years ago. As is the case with any property that ends up in the public domain, a new take on the tale of the orphan boy who gets entangled with a community of pickpockets will never be too far apart from each other. We’ve had BBC dramas, West End productions, musicals, a Disney movie with a cute animated cat, and even an Australian drama where Oliver and Dodger are sent to the colonies. You may be wondering what other possible versions can be left to tell for something that is so burnt into the public consciousness? For the makers of Twist, their answer seems to be; how about parkour!?
This modern-day retelling frames Oliver (played by Raffety ‘Son of Jude’ Law) as a young man, orphaned as a boy, who is living on the rooftops of London, using the city as his playground and canvas for his works of spray can art. When he runs into fellow quick-footed youths Dodge (Rita Ora) and Batesey (Franz Drameh), who introduce Oliver (sorry, Twist, as he likes to be called), to Fagin (Michael Caine), an old art dealer who now uses wayward youths to move forgeries around town and pull off art heists. He is in need of someone of Twist’s skills. Welcomed into Fagin’s community, Twist also meets the beautiful Nancy, aka Red (Sophie Simnett), a fellow skilled free-runner, who is stuck in an abusive relationship with Fagin’s dangerous accomplice, Sikes (Lena Headey).
Full review over at Filmhounds Magazine, originally published January 27th 2021.