I gave it an 8 out of 10 primarily for the fact that it had a lot to live up to and on the whole did it well.
**WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD**
So here are the good bits: The cast were superb. I couldn't have cast anyone better myself than Catherine Zeta Jones for Eustacia Vye, she fitted the role perfectly. Damon Wildeve and Clym Yeobright I also felt were very successful at living up to Hardy's original characters, and the rest of the cast were equally good. Most of the first hour was good, though a lot of the lines were completely created and not taken from the original text, it did stick to the original book quite sufficiently. It included the mummer's play which I felt certain they'd leave out, and the gypsying event that Eustacia attends was done very well. Also, Clym and Eustascia's courting was done nicely.
Now for the negatives: Up until Mrs Yeobright's death I quite liked it. Even though Wildeve's and Thomasin's wedding was completely messed up (Clym shouldn't have been there, Eustacia should have given Thomasin away - which I would have like to have seen, Susan Nunsuch shouldn't have stabbed Eustacia then etc) and Clym and Eustacia's meeting wasn't true to Hardy (there was no bucket incident I'm afraid)it was still overall good. Then Mrs Yeobright died - OF A HEART ATTACK!!!! When did Mrs Yeobright die of a heart attack???? I felt that it was an important detail that she died from exhaustion and was stung by an adder - as by using the adder fat to rub on the wound, Clym - the modern man - was shown reverting back to old, superstitions and remedies. But no...it was from a heart attack. And It wasn't just little Johnny who was there to witness it...it was the whole of the heath! This definitely lost dramatic impact as the climatic line when Johnny burst into the abandoned mud hut "she told me to tell you I'd seen the face of a broken hearted woman cast off by her son" was really underplayed. And then after this it all went down hill. Clym didn't rave and whine, and wasn't seen as pathetic. We didn't grow distant from him as we do in the book, and our sympathies weren't entirely with Eustacia as they should have been. Eustacia and Clym's relationship didn't show a dramatic decline, and so when Eustacia left, it seemed a bit melodramatic as they weren't really arguing at all. Thomasin never gave birth to little Eustacia, a poignant irony disappointingly left out (and whilst I remember there was no such issue with money - no guineas, no inheritance for Wildeve -not even any gambling and glow worms.) And the ending just took the biscuit. In the book I cried when Eustacia and Wildeve died, no I didn't, I literally sobbed! When watching this I was nearly reduced to laughing it was just so bad! The whole stormy heath scene was terrible! Eustacia had no soliloquy ("I have been blighted and injured and crushed by things beyond my control! ) so it wasn't such a loss when she died and Wildeve's lyrical line "O! My darling!" was excluded so his tragic hero image was completely absent. There was no build up, no climax, nothing. I felt really disappointed by this point. And just when I thought the ending couldn't possibly get any worse, along comes Eustacias ghost! Cue me dieing myself! Unfortunately very cheaply done, it possessed no sentimental value and on the whole was just quite hilarious - a future note for director Jack Gold, don't use that one again.
Thankfully though it missed most of book six - After courses out which to be perfectly honest is a dreadful read!
So it sounds like I hated it just to make clear I didn't hate the whole of it just the ending. Perhaps in future I'll stop it before Mrs Yeobright dies.
The Return of the Native
The Return of the Native
Reddleman Diggory Venn drives slowly across the heath, carrying a hidden passenger in the back of his van. When darkness falls, the country folk light bonfires on the hills, emphasizing the pagan spirit of the heath and its denizens.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 30, 2021 at 05:07 PM