Thomas Hardy

– Far from the Madding Crowd –

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Carey Mulligan as

Carey Mulligan as “Bathsheba” and Matthias Schoenaerts as “Gabriel” in FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD. Photos by Alex Bailey.  © 2014 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
All Rights Reserved

Went to watch “Far from the Madding Crowd” with my friend J,

I remember watching the television version in 1998 back in Ashville, at the EFL room.

The story constantly left me drowsy, mainly for many ideas uncleared.

One of thing I remembered of, was that the woman being courted by three men, and one of them shoot the other to death.

This time however, the film provided a richer description on the situation and the world the characters were in, which made the story a lot more whole.

Throughout the film I liked Gabbriel Oak the most, as he was calm, careful, very critical and objective on various matter. These skills enabled him to help Bathsheba the heroine to solve many situations, therefore made him a match/equal for her without dealing with actual wealth. Mr Bolden the gentleman was too cotrolling – maybe because he lived a sheltered life with people in distance, so Bathsheba was like a breath of fresh air for him. Yet like the old man in Marquez’s “Memoirs of My Melancholy Whore”, he gone mad with desire. I dislike Troy deeply, for his recklessness with Bathsheba.

Two unforgettable scenes – one was the beginning when sheeps that Gabriel once owned fell to their deaths from jumping off the cliff, the scene was so horrific I almost screamed. The other was the proposals – the first round poposals of both Gabriel and Mr Bolden, they both offered Bathsheba marriages and mentioned “and a piano”. Piano back then was something that all women have to learn in order to be worth the pursuit, of course in current days it would be seen as stupid and sexist. J and I laughed over it, this seemed a far cry for us – our freedom to chosse to be married or not, and how back then these things were so hard to happen.


– Tess of the d’Urberville – (2009 BBC trailer)


I remember just a simple read of the synopsis in a travel guide that record the location & sets that belonged to writers or fictional characters, for example Haworth (a small Yorkshire town) listed with Bronte Sisters. Thomas Hardy the author of Tess, belonged to Dorset areas and Salisbury. I remembered how they travel guide written in my mother-tongue, describing the unusually tragic life of Tess.

I didn’t watch Tess of the d”Urberville in one coherent style as the tragedy left me cringe after first time I tried to watch it, so it went – I decided to gain the gist of the story through wikipedia instead. Some of you would say “What the FUCK?”, but I am just too terrible watching tragedy in Tess’s level, as she left me feeling guilty over my relatively peaceful and happy life, as if she was looking at me saying “give me back my life!”

I wouldn’t be surprised she would ask, especially after all that she went through and she got very little or no support from the people she trusted and loved, who ought to have helped her at her time in need. In some ways, it reminded me of Graham Greene’s “The Heart of the Matter”, which the guy was being betrayed by his religion, the man was trying to do what the god told him was good. Yet god gave him no solution on what to amend, when the man asked for help.

The Stonehenge scene was the saddest scene I ever could watch, where it seemed to signified the things have been going on for Tess was no longer reversible, or in a sense god has left Tess once and for all. I adored Gemma Arterton for her performance on Tess, yeah I presume she would be what Tess looked like. I wasn’t fan of the male characters, as they harmed Tess so badly, but it was nice to see Angel (her so-called ex-husband) did come and help hr escape for a while…(sigh)