Friday, June 5, 2015

BOOK VS MOVIE: Far from the Madding Crowd

For years, fiction has depicted those of the fairer sex as always having romance and marriage on the mind. (Looking at you, Jane Austen.) Granted, in recent years, that's been rectified to an extent (read: making female characters have more than one dimension) but we've still got a way to go.

However, there have been early exceptions of proper female depictions before women's rights even entered everyday lexicon. Take Far from the Madding Crowd for instance. It revolves around an independent woman trying to survive in a man's world as well as fighting off the romantic pursuits of three men. A familiar premise, perhaps, but a good one if done properly.

Thomas Hardy's novel is a deeply lush piece of literature, ranging from the descriptions of the vast English countryside to the emotions felt between the characters. With its numerous Biblical references (two of the main characters have their fitting names derived from the Good Book), the novel shows how emotions can overtake one's better judgment.

Thomas Vinterberg's film keeps several elements of Hardy's novel alive (Charlotte Bruus Christensen's cinematography captures the rolling hills of southern England Hardy so vividly described) but as is the case with most adaptations, the does deviate from the original source. Several scenes (some of which slightly crucial) are either altered or removed entirely, and the general mood has been changed as well. Oh, Hollywood, always romanticizing things that shouldn't be.

It's pretty clear which of the two comes out on top, don't you think? Yes, both have their own individual qualities but there's one thing worth pointing out: actors can only do so much with what the writer originally intended.

What's worth checking out?: The book.


  1. I really want to read this novel. I haven't seen the recent film, but I loved the 67 version with Julie Christie. Have you seen that? I'm curious how you think that compares to the novel.


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