Archive for the ‘Challenge’ Category

An adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel with the same name.
I love Elizabeth Gaskell and everything she wrote is pretty cool.
“Wives and daughters” is one of my favorites and it certainly has a delightful something that North&South lacks.It’s…(I hate using quotes) the magic of ordinary days and little things that make us happy.
Here we have the 19th century through the eyes of women.Lacking activity,being obedient,loving and waiting because…well,they were women in the 19th century.
I was sort of touched by the finesse of the movie.The characters seem kind of ethereal,especially Molly with her goodness and delicacy.The same with miss Matty from Cranford.
Elizabeth Gaskell had a flair for describing that kind of women that are almost like beings from out of this world.
The W&D miniseries feature Justine Waddell who also played Estella in “Great Expectations” and Tess Durbeyfield in “Tess of the D’Urbervilles”.
The plotline is rather simple and wikipedia is there for everyone
The movie is lovely:not very complex,light,sometimes funny,sometimes sad,innocently serious and of great sensibility.
That’s the thing with these british novel adaptations,isn’t it?They’re all so sensible(except for the Thomas Hardy ones but I don’t really dig those).
I had the intention of naming my favorite moments in the movie,but I can’t think of any even though right now I can’t think of a movie I’d like to rewatch more.I guess this movie stuck with me more not because of remarcable moments,but because of the impression it left me with.
Anyway,Molly being the most impressive character in the movie(due to her kindness and obedience and,as I already said,her being ethereal),I liked Cynthia immensely,much more than Molly(whom,to tell the truth,I can’t understand fully,but then again,I can’t understand any docile person,and she is so much like a Dickens character)
Cynthia is interesting and cool and not the kind of person that should live in a small village.I’d’ve loved to meet her,we would’ve been friends.
Molly is like the perfect 19th century girl.She has no flaws.She’s discreet and doesn’t stand out,yet she is remarcably intelligent, obedient yet independent in thought and with rare bursts of passion.
Oh,she is so flawless,I can’t want to be her.
I didn’t get to like Osborne,I think the actor may have done a less than good job,’cause at times I thought he was creepy or something close to creepy,like cheesy,while I don’t think that was the intention.
As for Roger,oh,maybe they don’t make guys like that anymore.And even if they do,I don’t think one of those would be a good match for me.
I actually liked mr Preston.Of course,the heart goes to the main characters,that’s what the director wants,but,oh well,he wasn’t exactly the vilain,he was just the unwanted.
Other interesting characters are squire Hamley and Hyacinth.Oh,I just realised what the best moment in the movie was,it was the squire’s way of telling the doctor that his new wife is ridiculous,”I’m not saying she was very silly,but one of us was silly and it wasn’t me”.HA!
Squire Hamley was perfectly pictured by sir Michael Gambon.
Lovely movie.I think it’s a little underrated though,it’s not as appreciated as it should be.BBC makes great movies,it’s a pitty they don’t make more.


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After the girls at Camera,lights,history posted two reviews of this movie,I thought I should lose my prejudices and watch it too.
Well I did and I was just nooot as swept away by it as they were…but I totally give it a 5/5 and I admit that it’s a great movie.
So this is the love story(70% of it is the director’s imagination) of the muslim mughal emperor Akbar and his hindu rajput wife,Jodhaa.With a little twist of genuine Indian drama(which we loved,of course),some political discussions, mean enemies ,white pure main characters who strive to make the world a better place, tradition, religion, singing, nose earrings and Hrithik Roshan, this movie was a success.
So Akbar and Jodhaa fall in love…He falls in love not as slowly as she does.In fact he’s bewitched by her even before he sees her face,and when he does see her face he looks as if he’s just fallen from the sky.He also forgot his shoes on the way out.
Still,I got a bit confused.Where was he going on his way out?Where did she disappear?You could clearly hear her singing and he was looking with love at a non moving point(while moving) but he was alone with the white flowy veils…and she was still singing.Hmmmm.
My sister’s reaction was…what’s going on?Where did she go?
What killed me was that he dismissed the parliament or government or whatever that was,because he heard her singing.OOOK people,I’m the king here so come back with the important state problems…tomorrow or some other day.Now I must go and check what’s up with the singing!!Yea!
She falls in love slowly,as I already said before…me thinks this happens after she sees his bear back while he’s practicing sword fighting.That was a funny scene.
Akbar the sword fighting back stripper!He also takes muscle enhancement drugs!It’s a purk!Come now and get a free look at his abs too!Only today!
He was so nice when he asked to eat from the same dishes she ate.Coolio.
There’s also the locating of the wife,the sword fighting,the sleeping in the same room…platonically…and in the end the not so platonically sleeping in the same room.
Soo enough about the falling in love.It was ocasionally cheesy.

The politics:ough(that’s a sigh).
I’m gonna go through this really fast.The point is that Akbar was a great ruler who learned how to listen to his people and tried to improve their living.He was also very tolerant with religion(very 21st century for a 16th century emperor).

The singing:sigh.
I’m gonna go through this really fast too.
I get it…this singing…it’s an Indian thing.

The tradition:well,what I did understand was that much like in the case of the Persian emperors,Akbar was not an all powerfull ruler.He had to obey the laws and the will of his government.
What is this?Was this empire a rather democratic one?Hmmm.
The emperor respects all religions and while saying that,he looks like a beacon of light…or like Franklin.
Jodhaa makes demands,refuses to marry him unless he meets her demands(does anybody want to pinch me?),refuses to share his bed and won’t go back home with him.
Wroooong.You can’t do that woman!!You’re in the 16th century,remember?…Guess she forgot.
I’ll explain it to ya really simple.She must obey her father and after she is married she must obey her man.Fullstop.I mean,we’re talking about the culture that demands to have the women killed at the death of their husband.
Just how historically inaccurate is this movie,you might ask yourselves?
Very.Don’t go with the ‘it’s another culture and we can’t understand it’ thing.Bollywood is Bollywood and we must love it for what it is.Exageration.

The good part is that you learn some about the religious division in India and you get to see A.R. singing about Khrishna’s curves(for real).
Now I’ve only got two things left to say.
First of all,after Akbar had Adham thrown in his head and asked ‘Is he dead?’,I said(I’m full of funzies):If not,let’s get him back up and DO IT AGAIN…which was pretty much what Akbar said…to my shock!
Second of all:I really really loved the fact that Akbar didn’t kill his brother in law because of Banu.That was so kind and it sends a message about the importance of family.Family rocks!

Don’t get me wrong,I enjoyed Jodhaa Akbar despite my harsh review and I think it’s one of the best Indian movies I saw.
5/5 stars absolutely.

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I’ve been really busy these last few days and I really had no time for myself,so I haven’t seen much of nothing really except if it’s a cleaning tool.
I did however watch “Vanity fair” one night when I was tired,unpicky and I couldn’t find the remote so I stuck with what was running on the national television.
2004 Vanity Fair - Mychael Danna
VANITY FAIR 2004 with Reese Witherspoon, Jonathan Rhys Meyers(my…his name is hard to spell) and Romola Garai.
The distribution was great.Reese W. makes a lovable…(although perhaps too lovable and utterly unhateable Becky Sharp).The reason I initially didn’t want to watch this movie was her.She’s usually too thin and too blonde.None were the case here.She was pregnant appearantly and her hair had a bit of a darker reddish tone.So once I was past her physical aspect I found she can actually act(Oh come on,that’s just mean) and I liked her.Believable,lovable and mercantile Becky .
Anyway,I guess I wasn’t tired enough bcoz it annoyed me that I couldn’t see her cold rational mind games.They only showed me feelings.Lots of feelings.Not excessively for a random movie,but we’re talking about Vanity Fair.Feelings is exactly what this girl is supposed to have in very little quantity.
I wanted to see the wicked Becky and they show me the lovable Becky.*sigh*.
Romola Garai was wonderful as Amelia,she pictured her perfectly…but then again Romola Garai can play any part perfectly.Sadly we don’t really get her entire story due to time restrictions(they should’ve made a miniseries) but her you truly understand exactly as Thackeray wanted her to be understood.Dobbin and Cpt Crawley,on the other hand,are mismatched.Wrong Wrong Wrong.
They’re wroooong for the part.I hate them.
The plotline doesn’t go by the book much…it would be impossible to fit that big a book in 2 hours.
Jonathan R.M. was,of course,as usually,great as Osborne.
Enough with the good bits,let’s get to the nasty part(those were the good bits ?!?)
Whoever wrote the script and whoever approved it and whoever considered it good enough to be financed should be beaten at the bear gluteus maximus in a public market.Why?Because it turnsVanity Fair into a 1930s drama with a hint of whore house.
Steyne wants more from Becky…a whole lot more than in the book.He wants her virtue and Becky is hurt.She doesn’t want anything.She only wants to give him everything back and she wishes she never met him…or so we are led to believe(judging by acting,lights…ya know,nonverbal means of communication).
And they also have a previous bond->he has a painting of her when she was a child.
The funny part was the dancing(was the king present?…no one noticed,we were all too shocked by the Everything the ladies were doin’ to observe his royal highness).
Honestly!!!We’re supposed to be in the 1870 or something and the distinguished ladies have the hips in plain public view.What can we do?How are we to not criticize when we are given such food ;)) ?
The best bit was after the ladies are done dancing and the king flirts with Becky a lil bit,demanding that she is seated next to him.A baroness(or something) dressed as a belly dancer, makes an objection and the king looks at her for a second.Sorry,I just can’t take you seriously when you’re wearing that.
Ok,that line was only in my head.
Overall(wow,I DO criticize a lot!),I kinda liked it.Please take notice that I did hesitate when I said that.Imagine it this way:-I…kiiiiinda liked it…hmmm.Nope.
There you go.It’s an adaptation for the young minds or for the unread ones.I guess it means to make the story understandable for teens who can’t conceive the 19th century ways.
Buh-bye now.
ps.I am really really enormously tired.

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I watched “The young Victoria” and I didn’t love it.
The movie is about three or four years of Victoria’s inactive life from before and after she was queen and her relationship with cousin Alfred,whom she married.
Historically it was pretty accurate.
The happenings,the politics,the characters flow naturally and historically.
The king’s insulting speech towards Victoria’s mother is about 2/3 exactly what he said.Also the part where Conroy is trying to make Victoria sign the regency agreement while she’s sick and she throws it on the floor,is true.
Alfred,however,was never shot in an attempt of murder towards the queen.According to wikipedia,this annoyed the queen.
What annoyed me was that I couldn’t find something I loved about this movie.
I don’t understand why Victoria and Albert liked each other.I didn’t like them as a couple and I couldn’t like them as individuals.Victoria seemed dizzy,silly.She was actually downright stupid holding her husband as a visitor,not bestowing obligations on him,trusting Melbourne more than him,needing Melbourne’s approval to share her work with Albert and considering that he is nothing more than her husband.
If this was really Victoria,I despise her.
As for Albert…for a long part of the movie he doesn’t show much personality and occasionally reminded me of a child lacking love.Towards the end he starts to show some guts and just when I was beginning to like him,he got shot in a murder attempt.Well that ruined it for me and in conclusion I hated this movie,I thought Victoria was stupid and Albert was bland.
As for the ending…I didn’t get it.After 20 years,when she was 40,Victoria still looked slim as Emily Blunt and pretty as an 18 year old girl.
Honestly,I never disliked a movie so much.I even hate the poster.I think the poster is dumb.
I hated the scene when Albert and Victoria dance.It was dumb.She slided to the middle of the room as if she was on rollerskates.Dumb!

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Lady Jane 1986 with Helena Bonham Carter and Cary Elwes.
The movie was so cute…at least the part where they fall in love.It’s so sweet.
The summary:The teenage king is dieing and the next in line is the catholic Mary Tudor.
John Dudley wants to avoid having a catholic on the throne again so he initiates a plot to have the low royalty Jane Grey of 16 on the throne.For this purpose Jane is married to Dudley’s youngest son,Guilford.The king dies and Jane is queen for 9 days.Everybody betrays her and soon Mary is proclamed queen while Jane must die along with her husband.
The plotline is historically accurate.The only liberty which we call artistic licence,is making Jane and Guilford fall in love.Most likely that never happened.While being imprisoned,Dudley carved Jane’s name on the prison wall,but that is the only foundation on which the assumption that they loved each other,is based.
Anyway,they are so cute together!!!and their falling in love was so tingly for the viewers.
And Cary Elwes used to be really handsome back then.
Here’s a fanmade video.

Thumbs-up for everything.I don’t want to find flaws in this movie,it was too sweet.

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I just read Northanger Abbey for the first time,I read it in english ‘cause I thought it’s important to read at least one of Austen’s works the exact way she intented it to be.
I was really surprised.I mean,Northanger Abbey and Mansfield park are the only books of hers that I haven’t read and I assumed that I pretty much knew her style after four books.But I was wrong,this book was more sarcastic,cynical,satirical than any of her other novels and it introduced us to a very non-heroic heroine.
Catherine Morland has nothing a main character should have.She’s not very intelligent,she can’t tease anybody,she’s irrational,she hardly knows herself and hardly understands the world she lives in.Her only qualities seem to be her kindness and her devotion.
How wise if miss Austen to produce such a main character and transmit the information that it’s not the wit,the wealth or the remarcability of any sort that are responsible for making people happy.It’s the goodness of their heart.This is actually stated in Pride and Prejudice,Lizzie tells Jane “If you were to give me forty such men, I never could be so happy as you. Till I have your disposition, your goodness, I never can have your happiness.”
So the book was pleasant,it was a nice and funny read and I ended up with some moral conclusions too.
As for the movie :)…it was very entertaining.I wanted to watch the 1980s BBC adaptation but the actors looked really ugly,the settings appeared to be shabby and mr Tilney was a bit too much bewitched by Catherine so I just skipped to the ITV 2007.
In my opinion NA was ITV’s best production in the Jane Austen season.It’s not only an adaptation,it’s creatively done.
The music prepares you for a great and wonderful adventure,as Catherine expects her months in Bath to be,or for horrid nightmare-like happenings,as Catherine imagines that are likely to come her way.Thumbs-up for the music then.
Also,thumbs up for sticking to the book enough so that we can get the picture but not enough to become bored(they were really inactive back then and their greatest entertainment was walking in circles in the Pump Room).
Another thumbs-up goes to the narrator.Of little appearance but of great importance was the superior,amused,satirical female voice that began and ended the story.
And now,the final thumbs-up goes to(‘tis so cool,I feel as if I’m presenting the Grammy Awards)…her dreams,her interesting almost erotic dreams.Honestly,the writer and the director should get an award for the dreams alone.Here’s a clip.And no,there’s no such dreaming in the book,which makes their idea even more worthy of praise.watch the first 30 seconds or so.

The thumbs-down go to the alterations in the story that I thought shouldn’t have been made.Like mrs Allen being smarter,general Tilney being waaay too creepy and Catherine being less silly.
Overall I’ll give it 9 out of 10.And now I am in search of a good Japanese period drama.I want drama!!!
Buh-bye now(Tommy hates you).

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Today’s story is Persuasion,written by Jane Austen and adapted into many movies…1971,1995,2007 are only the better known adaptations,but the theme and main plot appears in many movies.
I’d have to chose between the 1995 version and the 2007 version to have a personal favorite,but I can’t say I found what you’d expect to find in either of them.They’re pale compared to the book,or so I think now.
It’s a great love story.
Frekerick Wentworth loves Anne Elliot and she loves him back.They want to get married but he has no prospects and,under the advice of friends and family,she breaks the engagement.They are both broken hearted but both manage to rally.Eight years later they meet again;they’re different,pain and regret altered her looks while he’s a successful captain in the navy,an eligible rich and handsome young man.After so many years they still love each other very much but they don’t know how the other feels.The rest is a beautiful austen like story about profound attachment, understanding, friendship, true values and snobbism.
The 1995 version tells the story better and it is very much to the book.Everything is where Austen meant it to be and the actors are very well chosen except for the one playing Anne Elliot.
Tommy says the thumbs down go to whoever chose Amanda Root to play Anne.
Amanda Root is a great actress and Persuasion 1995 is considered to be the best adaptation ever(not by me),but she was just too old to be Anne.She was turning 40 at the time of the shooting and her looks did not improve much by the end of the movie as they should have.
Another thumb down goes to the lightning.There’s not enough light,the sets were lighted exclusively by candels.I guess that was supposed to make everything realistic but I think that being in a semi-obscure room is not the same with watching people in a semi-obscure room on the tele.
They should’ve been realistic about other things and not candels.
Apart from the aspect of the movie,it was a good adaptation,true to the book and we enjoyed it indeed.We could give it 4 out of 5 stars.
The 2007 Sally Hawkins version was much more entertaining and modern.We liked the image and particularly the lights very much.We also liked the settings and costumes and we thought we had a better insight at Anne and Wentworth’s feelings because Anne had a diary and Wentworth talked to his friends about his concerns.The two main actors were brilliant I thought(and Tommy thought so too),but most of the other actors were mediocre.So… HAD we had the 2007 main actors,lighting and Anne’s solo scenes put in the 1995 version we would’ve had a brilliant movie.
But we don’t.The 2007 ending is a blast.Some annoying proud and conceited someone,chose to completely change the circumstances in which Anne finds out that Wentworth still loves her.In an attempt to find him and confess her love to him,she starts running after him as soon as he walks out of the house(I will never understand how nobody understood how idiotic this is).He just walked out of the house.He doesn’t have wings and still Anne runs and runs and can’t catch him.The only explanation is that she was running in the wrong direction.So Anne is running like an Olympic winner in the wrong direction and as if that’s not enough,her invalid friend,the one who couldn’t use her legs,mrs. Smith starts running alongside her while telling her of mr.Elliot’s bad deeds.
So the 2007 is done with.If only we could erase the last 20 minutes and replace them with the actual story….if only…then we would give it 4/5 stars but as it is we’re only willing to give 3 stars.
Best is to watch them both and in a short interval of time.
Well,Tommy said buh-bye!

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