What it's about:
Based on the literary classic by Thomas Hardy, this is the story of independent, beautiful and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene, who attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak, a sheep farmer, captivated by her fetching willfulness; Frank Troy, a handsome and reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood, a prosperous and mature bachelor. This timeless story of Bathsheba’s choices and passions explores the nature of relationships and love—as well as the human ability to overcome hardships through resilience and perseverance.
What we thought:When I was younger I used to love a good old predictable romance; the one where everything just works out miraculously. Older me likes a more complicated kind of love story, a more believable one.
Far From The Madding Crowd is just that. Based on the novel by Thomas Hardy the period drama tells the story of Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) who has the choice of three suitors: the good guy, the safe guy and the bad boy.
But this story is not just about matters of the heart it also focuses on her blazing her way in the male dominated farming industry and the attitudes she encounters when she inherits her uncle’s farm.
In the opening scene we see Bathsheba racing her horse across the country field, riding astride in a really great leather jacket. From the onset you know Bathsheba is not your typical 19th century lady. She’s strong willed, intelligent and independent.
Rumour has it her surname inspired Suzanne Collins when she named her Hunger Games heroine Katniss.
She meets hunky shepherd, Gabriel (Matthias Schoenaerts) who prematurely asks her to marry him. He offers her a comfortable life but our Bathesheba does not want to be tied down by a man who cannot tame her. When tragedy strikes and he loses everything Bathesheba employs him when her fortune changes. And they become really good friends. Yes. He gets stuck in that dreaded friend zone. But there’s a simmering build up between the pair.
Her second admirer is the well-off, middle age farmer William (Michael Sheen). She sets off their ‘relationship’ when she sends him a Valentine’s Day card. And when he proposes marriage and offers her his protection she does consider it but for practicalities sake.
Enter the bad boy in uniform Sergeant Troy (Tom Sturridge). Against her better judgement she secretly meets up with him. She falls for him when he does some fancy dangerous sword work and leaves her with a breathless kiss. Even strong independent woman can’t resist a bad boy it seems.
There’s a subplot involving Troy and his true love Fanny (Juno Temple) who accidentally jilts him at the altar. Theirs is a tragic love story. Side note: how do you plan to get married and not mention which church to meet at?
The acting cannot be faulted. Mulligan is the star of the show she is absolutely phenomenal in her role. She balances strength and vulnerability beautifully.
The eye candy Schoenaerts will melt many a heart as the loyal, steadfast Gabriel. Sheen is perfect in his role as introverted, unsure of himself rich middle aged man who develops want one can only call an obsession with Bathesheba.
I have to admit that I was caught off guard with this movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it. And it’s a breath of fresh air to be offered a romantic tale with some substance. Ultimately it’s just the story of woman wants to make her own choices in life and love even if they’re wrong. You know how it’s going to end but it’s nice to be part of the often stumbling path that love takes people on. It’s more believable in the end anyway.
It’s a definite must watch in my books!
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