Saturday, July 21, 2012



Let's start with the upside. I often enjoy movies that develop slowly. I definitely enjoy movies taking place in countries other than the U.S. (It's just fun to go someplace else). Freida Pinto is gorgeous. (Although, she's twenty-seven portraying a nineteen year old. She's a very sophisticated beauty, and that doesn't really lend itself well to playing someone younger.) The cinematography is beautiful. There are plenty of beautiful shots of landscape and historic architecture juxtaposed with shots of bustling and colorful inner-city action. (In movie-life you aren't smelling the smells and swatting the flys). The story, based upon Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Ubervilles, is mostly interesting.

But here's where this movie went all wrong for me. The movie clearly portrays the two main characters (Trishna and Jay) very much in love, and having a great time together at one point. He's handsome, charming, and kind to her. Then, as the story unfolds, things take a turn for the worse. He starts treating her poorly, including prodding her to engage in degrading sexual acts. At no point, though, is he physically violent or even threatening. She never says "no", never walks away or runs away...until after she stabs him to death. Yeah, that's right. She gets on top of him with a gigantic butcher knife and plunges it into him a few times with quite a lot of zest.

So, of course, it's shocking! I mean geez--- sure your boyfriend is an a-hole, but don't you think that's a little extreme? He wasn't beating you or attacking you. He was just being an a-hole and a bit of a pervert (by your standards). There really was no observable reason for killing him. Even though you are a timid country girl, you ran away just fine earlier in the movie, and you ran away just fine after you killed the guy. So, it's not like running away wasn't in your repertoire. 

Naturally, having never read the source material, I wanted to better understand what was going on here. So, I investigated. Well, DUHHHHHH>the book makes a great deal more sense. She hated the guy from the beginning. He raped her, following which she had a baby who died shortly after birth. That alone makes stabbing someone to death a lot easier to understand. 

So, I'm not saying it wasn't an interesting trip to the movies. I'm just saying they blew it in the adaptation.

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