An ode to the jilted!
Far from the Madding Crowd is a movie that lets us dig into the extraordinary Thomas Hardy genius that gorgeously scales his unique style of story building. David Nicholls knits a fine screenplay to complement the powerful Hardy plot. Thomas Vinterberg on the other hand helms sheer magic. His direction is subtle, focuses on the call of the hour and displays only the best bits he thinks worth depicting.
THE TIMELESS TIMELINE OF FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD
Born in this era I didn’t have the good hap of watching the first one first, so I decided to accept whatever was flung before me. The setup even though modishly shot doesn’t even for once gives away the intended timeline. You can’t help but compare it to the likes of Gone with the Wind. There are magnificently shot landscapes that will compel you to marvel at innate scenery our planet offers. Lush farms and the tranquility surrounding it will force you to have second thoughts about all the urban choices you made.
SPOILER PASTORS AHEAD
When we look at the cast, Carey Mulligan was an extraordinary find. The role she plays – Bathsheba Everdene is a girl with education, an independent woman who doesn’t want to be tied down by promises of love. She can’t be picketed down like someone’s property, until she hits an infatuation herself in the form of Sergeant Francis Troy played by Tom Sturridge. She becomes bewitched at once, slave to her emotions and that’s when a terrible mistake happens. Like she puts it “between jealousy and distraction” she marries him. It is hard not to feel sorry for her to find the inconsiderate guy that doesn’t give two rats about her, and two jilted lovers who only hoped for the best in the backdrop. Carey’s character will also peeve you beyond limit when she turns down brilliant advices by Gabriel Oak played by Matthias Schoenaerts. But isn’t that how life happens to us all? One moment we think we are right only to tumble and rise again. Bathsheba is quite relatable in that respect, and she gets forgiven as well.
THE DARKEST BIT OF FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD
The sheep bit in the beginning was one of the gloomiest unfortunate events to have befallen Oak. It was impactful in a way that was capable of flinging you in a sudden gush of emotions. There was nothing Oak could have done to stop that from happening. As the sheep fell all I could remember was being the “The Catcher in the Rye“. Really powerful stuff!
The thing that miffed me in Far from the Madding Crowd was Gabriel Oak’s acting. Even though the script desired him to stay taut like a rock, we don’t see him nail any kind of emotion ever. His act is banal and makes you wonder if he was the right choice for the role. William Boldwood played by Michael Sheen, au contraire acted brilliantly and aced his character to perfection. Jilted finds a meaning on his face, as he takes the gun to pass the eventual poetic justice. Also, I couldn’t help but notice there was no such gut-wrenching drama to it, presence of which could have possibly made the movie even better. However, in the end every frame was worth it.
THE FINAL VERDICT
Far from the Madding Crowd is a very well written, acted and shot flick! Far from the Madding Crowd will impel you to question the choices your reckless head makes.
Far from the Madding Crowd
- Outstanding subtle direction
- Beautifully shot landscapes
- Editing is extraordinary as well
- Stellar actors
- The script demanded the otherwise absent gut-wrenching drama
- Matthias Schoenaerts was emotionless and vapid