A self-taught archeologist is hired by a landowner to excavate large burial mounds in The Dig. Edith Pretty () is a landowner in 1939 Suffolk, who hires local self-taught excavator Basil Brown () to take a look at the large burial mounds on her estate in Sutton Hoo. Digging primarily on his own with a few assistants, including Edith's cousin Rory Lomax (Johnny Flynn), Brown eventually uncovers the rivets of a ship. This attracts the attention of archeologist Charles Phillips (Ken Scott), who takes the lead of the excavation and brings in his own team that includes Stuart Piggott (Ben Chaplin) and his wife Peggy ().

The Dig is a historical drama from director Simon Stone (The Daughter) based on the 2007 novel by John Preston, which in turn is inspired by the 1939 excavation of Sutton Hoo. The story of the film primarily centres on the relationship between excavator Basil Brown and his employer Edith Pretty, who is a widow and single mother, who has been experiencing steadily worsening health problems. When Brown uncovers a find of national importance, he begins to fear that he will not receive the proper credit, especially after Cambridge archaeologist Charles Phillips takes over the dig by order of Office of Works. Another challenge comes in the form of the impending arrival of the Second World War, which would put an immediate halt to all excavations.

The Dig is the type of film that you can put on during the afternoon when there is nothing else to watch. The film has a fairly decent story and has a cast of recognizable faces, yet is probably not going to leave much of a lasting impression. In fact, there seems to be no real sense of conflict in The Dig, other than the fears of Basil Brown that the excavation that he started is going to be taken away from him, which seems to be an issue that is quickly resolved in the film.

There is also a subplot that begins mid-film surrounding Lily James' character of Peggy Piggott, who is not only the victim of sexism by the rest of the archaeological team – it's mentioned she was only hired for her short stature – but she finds herself neglected by her husband Stuart, which leads to her developing a connection with Rory Lomax, who has been photographing the finds of the excavation.

While I can probably say that The Dig is a better film than Simon Stone's 2015 debut The Daughter, it is still a film that doesn't quite stick with me after the final credits roll.

The Dig is now available to stream on Netflix

Related Links

Become a patron at Patreon!
This post was proofread by Grammarly 

How to Watch The Dig

Streaming Offers for The Dig

Login with Patreon