“‘The Dig’ presents a vivid story of discovery and hope of archaeological artifacts but slips in pacing and creativity.”

Hello again fellow readers, welcome to yet another exclusive of Cinema Perception. In this film review, I will be discussing the latest Netflix film, “The Dig.” Starring Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes, “The Dig” is a story of a widow named Edith Pretty, who asks archaeologist-excavator Basil Brown to evacuate a mound site that is believed to have historical and archaeological value of Sutton Hoo. Though the title states the essential purpose of the story, “The Dig” is based on a book written by John Preston and true events that took place during the late ‘30s in England.

After watching “The Dig,” I noticed that the film had several positives. For starters, the film was very enjoyable to watch. As someone who has not seen an excavation, I found the dig site to be very intriguing. In addition, I found the cinematography to be very insightful. In one scene, I felt some sense of emotion when I got a medium shot of Brown and his workers excavating the burial site. Along with different camera angles, the acting of each actor was very believable. Personally, I found Lilly James’ character to have the most chemistry in the set, even though her character was not mainly focused throughout the film. Other than the acting, the last thing I found interesting about the film was the actual landscape. Since the film is set in England, I found the film to equate to that of “1917” for its realism to nature. 

Despite the film’s positives, I did notice that there were negatives. The first negative I saw is the film’s lack of pacing. In the beginning, I felt it was slow at times when there were several dialogue scenes. The film clocked in at an hour and 50 minutes which almost felt like it would branch into two hours. Also, if you crave action in the film as a viewer, there was very little. The last issue I had with the film is the lack of an antagonist. In some respects, the film wanted the viewer to believe that the British museum was the main antagonist, but in retrospect, there was a looming issue of war. Due to having no clear enemy in the film, it is left to the viewer to decide who was responsible for closing the excavation site. Though it is my opinion that “The Dig” was still entertaining to watch despite its flaws.

Overall, “The Dig” is an interesting film to watch even though it lacks creativity, pacing and a main antagonist. Essentially, I would rate this film a three out of five stars. For those wanting to see true story films, I suggest watching “Two Popes.” ‘Till next issue, this is Nicholas Bartelmo signing off from Cinema Perception.


Nicholas Bartelmo is a fourth-year History major. NB790429@wcupa.edu

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