Far from the Madding Crowd
Bizarre love pentagon
Classic Elsternwick - Sunday 28 June 2015, 10:30am
Running time: 118m
Country: United Kingdom
Classification: M (Mature themes and sex scene)
Release date: 25/06/15
Cost: $10 (Optus Rewards)
Rating: 7/10 (ME 3.5/5, DP 3.5/5)
Carey Mulligan stars as Bathsheba Everdene in this latest adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd. It shows us Bathsheba's rags-to-riches rise when she unexpectedly inherits her uncle's farm in rural Dorset in the 1870s, with the title coming from the fact that Dorset is a long way from the hustle and bustle of London, some "200 miles away".
The feisty and independent Bathsheba who is a woman ahead of her time and who doesn't "need a husband", is also a magnet to men, with this film revealing the various complex relationships she develops with her three suitors; the hunky and enigmatic farm manager Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), the wealthy and earnest neighbouring land owner William Boldwood (Michael Sheen) and the dashing and gallant Sergeant Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge). The Bizarre Love Pentagon is completed by the doomed relationship between Sergeant Troy and the young runaway servant girl Fanny Robbin (Juno Temple).
This film is at times serious, at times melodramatic and at times wistful and fun, but it creates what appears to be an authentic picture of life in a rural English farming community in the late 1800s. The cinematography is stunning, with exquisite shots of the countryside that could easily serve as a travelogue advertisement for the region. The weather is a constantly present element with storms looming or the sun shining brightly, well reflecting the tone of events occurring around Everdene Farm at any particular time. The costuming is magnificent and Bathsheba is shown to have the most magnificent array of hats and co-ordinated leather denim and velvet working outfits ever assembled by a single woman. This is a very enjoyable, well acted and beautiful looking period piece, that although it moves quite slowly at times, is well worth going to see. Enjoy! (DP)