Thursday, May 21, 2015

Far from the Madding Crowd Review

This past weekend I was searching for a movie to see because I needed a quick escape and in looking at showtimes I stumbled on a few theaters that were playing Far from the Madding Crowd, which wasn't really even on my radar at that point. However, upon doing some quick research as to what the movie was about, I realized that it was a based on a really popular book written by a man named Thomas Hardy in the late 1800's and there was at least one movie adaption that had already been made many years back. For some reason I had never really heard of the book or the old movie, so even though I knew going in that it probably wasn't my cup of tea, I decided it was time for me to be educated. So there I was, a single male going to a romance drama all by himself. Yeah. That happened. Now that it's done, the big thing that I took out of it was that my personal opinion on what I saw was not going to matter much. What matters is that this is the type of movie that I know that a lot of people will love, but yet since it hasn't expanded very wide yet and thus hasn't made much money, I don't know how high the awareness on this actually is. So here I am doing my best to raise awareness because I do like it when I recommend a movie to someone that they end up enjoying, even if I myself didn't enjoy it that much. And of course I will give my opinion. But like I said, that's less important in this case.

Like I said, Far from the Madding Crowd is a romantic drama. But it's not just a romantic drama. Being that the book was written in 1874, this is a period piece romantic drama. Can you think of another period piece romantic drama that a lot of people really love, specifically females? If you answered Pride and Prejudice, then you are absolutely correct. I'm going to go ahead and take the chance by making the comparison because as I was watching, I felt like I was watching Pride and Prejudice, just with different character names and different actors. Now if you are reading this and you absolutely love both of these classic novels and their respective film adaptions and there is a huge difference that makes it a really bad comparison, then I honestly apologize. It's just that my simple male mind has now watched both of them and they both felt very similar. If you are wondering, I have actually watched the five-hour long version of Pride and Prejudice because I told myself it needed to happen at least once. Not my favorite five hours, gotta be honest there. But I do understand why it is so beloved and I think those who love that should also love Far from the Madding Crowd. Although it's only two hours, so perhaps it's closer in comparison to the shorter version of Pride and Prejudice. However, since I haven't actually seen that version, I can't officially make that comparison. Sorry.

Anywho, I digress. The point of all that is to tell you that I have seen Pride and Prejudice and I don't really like it all that much. Sorry. Don't hurt me. Just not my style of movie. Since this is my review, I will give my opinion and say that I wasn't a huge fan of Far from the Madding Crowd either. I really struggled hard to keep focused and awake because I can't review a movie if I fell asleep and missed most of it. That wouldn't be fair. That said, when compared to other romantic dramas, this actually compares well. Even if you haven't read the book or seen another adaptation, five minutes into the movie you will know exactly what is going to happen at the end. But that's not the point with this movie. You're not there to try and guess which of the three guys is going to end up getting the girl. You know exactly which guy is going to win out. What makes it interesting is the journey and I must say that it's a pretty dramatic journey. Especially when it comes to the sheep! Holy cow was I on the edge of my seat when the dog escapes from house and tries to lead the sheep off the cliff. That was intense cinema!! Ok, the drama between the girl and the guys trying to get the girl was good as well. It's a well written story with very fleshed-out characters that you actually care about. Even if I wasn't fully invested it it, I will admit that.

The other thing that I will admit is that this is a very beautifully shot movie. The landscapes and the scenery were very pleasing for the eye to look upon, especially since the lighting was perfect. I also really liked the costumes and set designs. It was a very well-done period piece in those aspects. Another thing that I really liked is all the acting. Carey Mulligan was the lead in the movie and she's the one that actually was a pretty big determining factor in me seeing this movie because I like her as an actress. I most recently saw her in two 2013 movies, The Great Gatsby and Inside Llewyn Davis, and she was great in both of those, especially Gatsby. She captured the character of Daisy Buchanan very well in that movie. In Far from the Madding Crowd, I felt she played a very strong female role, which is always in high demand these days, and did a great job of it. I wasn't extremely familiar with the male actors in this movie, so I won't sit here and just throw names out at you, but there was a very interesting dynamic between all of them and there was great chemistry between Carey Mulligan and the guy that you know she's going to end up with, so that was good. I don't know if proposing to a girl the very second time you see her is the best option to go. I would usually recommend a first date instead, but you know. Different times. Different cultures.

Overall, if I'm being honest, I don't think this is a movie that I would ever want to watch again. It's just not my style of movie and I had a hard enough time focusing the first time through. But I do realize that there are a lot of great things about this movie, which is why I feel that there are a lot of people who would watch this and absolutely love it because of the well-written story, great characters, great acting, beautiful visuals, etc. So if you are the type of person who loves romantic dramas and/or period pieces, then you should really seek this movie out because I think you will love it, especially if you are a fan of Pride and Prejudice. They felt like similar movies to me and thus I feel fans of one will be fans of both. If I'm wrong on that, feel free to correct me because I would be interested in hearing your point of view. As far as my grade for Far from the Madding Crowd, I will give it a very fair and generous 7/10. It's not my favorite. But it's not bad.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't seen it as yet but, having read the book, I can certainly see scope for a film to make the story tighter and actually build on the book, which isn't always the case.