Posts Tagged ‘the period drama challenge’

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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The last period drama I’ve watched was „Little Dorrit” 2008 which is an adaptation of the novel with the same name by Charles Dickens.
The movie is actually a tele serial,with a one hour opening episode,12 half hour episodes and a one hour finale.
The story revolves around Amy Dorrit who was born and grew up in the Marshalsea prison,the debtor’s prison,becomes rich,turns poor again and then gets married to the man she loves and he will provide for her.
The movie stuck to the novel and it introduces you to a typical Charles Dickens universe, with characters from all levels of society,with real problems,not the light kind of problems,but with mistery,injustice,cruelty and extremely cruel characters;On the opposite end we find the extremely kind characters who have come to be so thoughtful by experiencing great dramas.
Also,and this is what you must love about Dickens,there are the characters who seem wicked and turn out to be the good ones and characters who seem to be the good ones and turn out to be the bad ones.
The two main characters,Arthur Clenham and Amy Dorrit are very selfless and not interested in possessing money but the plotline is very much about money and how not having money or having too much money can bring moral ruin.
There are more conclusions here I think.
Firstly,speculation is bad and it is not an honorable way to make money since somewhere,someone is losing the money you are wining.
Secondly,people shouldn’t put much stock in money since they come and go as they please.
And thirdly,the only thing of real importance is kindness and love.
So you see,”Little Dorrit” is the typical Dickens drama.
I give the movie thumbs up for sticking to the novel.After all it’s the author’s work and we must respect his vision.Also,thumbs up for image,costumes,acting(I don’t really like Mathew Macfadyen since he starred in the most horrid P&P version ever with Keira,but he was pretty good as Arthur Clenham and Claire Foy was a revelation,I want to see more of her),for credibility and for the sense of proportions.
What I really appreciated was that not everybody got a happy ending and I’m not only referring to the bad characters,but good characters also have relatively unhappy endings because everybody must live with the consequences of their actions.
In the end(this does sound vague but…) the movie is just plain sensible,it irks with common sense and it’s worth watching.
Unfortunately I’ve got lots of thumbs down.My sister says it’s actually only Dickens’s fault because I am cold as I am and no as tickleish as the next fellow while Dickens is a sensitive guy.
I guess the good characters are overreactedly kind.
Can’t they do anything mean?Or at least something that can make them individuals?They’re all kind and good for 8 long hours and say only nice things even when people treat them like dirt.
I like less sensitive characters.
Another thumb down goes to the length of the movie.The subplots are too developed and they tend to get boring at times.
Overall it’s a good period drama to watch,not even closely in my top of favorites,but it’s a grand movie and definetly the kind I’ll have my children watch instead of those weird cartoons they put on tv lately.

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