Thomas Vinterberg brings on the fourth cinematic adaption of Thomas Hardy’s “Far from the Madding Crowd” to the big screen. The first adaptation of the 1874 novel was brought to the screen in 1915 as a silent movie, with the second version being released in 1967. Thomas Hardy’s novel brought the character of Bathsheba to life, and despite the writer being accused of misogyny, the female character is independent and resourceful in contrast to the women of that era. If you have read the novel, the movie will succeed in giving you a shrewd impression of the world Hardy created in the book.
Carey Mulligan’s take on Bathsheba Everdene is praiseworthy, and her performance will keep you on the edge of your seat. Her portrayal of the feminist Bathsheba is perfect and she couldn’t have done any more justice to the character. The story revolves around her character, where she courts three men, but is unable to decide which one to settle with. Gabriel Oak, played by Matthias Schoenaerts, is the other major character who falls in love with Bathsheba, but is unable to woo her into marrying him.
The handsome Frank Troy, a reckless sergeant (Tom Sturridge), and William Boldwood (Michael Sheen) make up the trio of men who fall prey to Bathsheba’s beauty. The story follows them through a journey through thick and thin, with Gabriel losing everything he had in a tragic accident, while Batsheba inherits her uncle’s farm and gets considerably rich.
The story runs towards a predictable end as it unfolds, and no matter how strong the cast is, there still lacks something in this adaptation of the novel. The acting is no doubt astounding. However, the writing seems a little off and fails to make a connection with the audience. The movie could have done well by picking up a few pages from the iconic 1967 adaptation of the same novel.
All in all, the movie manages to cram in a majority of the details from the novel in less than 2 hours, and despite failing to make a connection, is quite watchable!
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