Okay, I admit, I promised myself I wasn’t going to watch the film before I had read the novel. But my sweet boyfriend took me to the movies last Saturday and of course I couldn’t refuse. He wanted to buy me the book at first, but it wasn’t in stock at our local bookshop, so he decided to take me to the film instead. If I didn’t mind? Uh, no! Still want that book, though ;-)!
The film according to IMDb:
In Victorian England, the independent and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak, a sheep farmer; Frank Troy, a reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood, a prosperous and mature bachelor.
As of May 7th, the film is on at the big cinemas in the Netherlands and we went to see it but two days later. I think I’ve never seen a film so short after its premiere. That actually says enough, doesn’t it? When we walked out of the cinema, all three of us (indeed, me and my boyfriend is still just two people, but a good friend came along with us) felt a bit out of place in the bustling city of Amsterdam. Of course that could just mean we were out of place, considering we were used to the more tranquil city of Utrecht, but in fact we were still dreaming of the lovely fields of Dorset.
After this short introduction, it will come as no surprise that I absolutely loved the film. From the minute Carey Mulligan walked into the big screen and rode away on her horse, I sat staring as if mesmerized. The setting and costumes are stunning and next to Mulligan, Schoenaerts (ten points for pronouncing that right!) and Sheen are the absolute stars of the film. I was quite restrained from liking sergeant Troy, but Tom Sturridge was definately convincing as the gambling soldier and bad husband.
Though I haven’t read the book yet, I did read Under the Greenwood Tree by the same author. The setting and dream-like feeling of the film were quite similar to the background Hardy described in Under the Greenwood Tree, which was of course the perfect background for the intricate love story.
There was but one downside to the film: the last 30 minutes or so were an accumulation of events and came across somewhat restless. So much happened during that last half hour, that it might have been too dramatic and improbable were it not for the actors. Since I’ve not yet read the book, I cannot compare this with Hardy’s version, but (again referring to his other book) I think he would have taken more time to bring the story to an end. That being said, I still found the story convincing and the actors consistent.
Now, if you haven’t watched this film, I suggest you go get yourself some popcorn and some free time and relax, ‘cause this film is highly recommended!
Have you seen Far from the Madding Crowd?