Far from the Madding Crowd

Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Tom Sturridge, Michael Sheen
Directed by Thomas Vinterberg
Rating: A

In this 19th century classic, a young independent woman becomes mistress of a farm and waits for the right suitor to come along and tame her.

While the idea of an independent woman who can’t make up her mind when it comes to love may not sound like the most interesting movie, it’s worth thinking about the time period it takes place in. Bathsheba Everdene (Mulligan) has a wild spirit, and refuses to become something owned by another man. This is at a time when women had their place in society, to stay in the house practicing the piano or working as a governess. Ms. Everdine stands out from her sex because she doesn’t want to be told what to do. She takes pride in working alongside her tenants when challenged. Men admire her for her determined nature but come away burned by her rejections.

The fact that Ms. Everdene can’t make her mind up only causes further trouble when she falls for the wrong man, a soldier with unpleasant intentions. She’s had a farmer and a wealthy neighbor exclaim their interests but it takes a bad boy to awaken her sexual interest when he kisses her in the woods. She is captivated and makes a rash decision to run away with him. Due to her strong-willed nature, her suitors never go away but wait in the shadows just in case she ever needs them.

Far from the Madding Crowd is frustrating to watch at times, because Ms. Everdene comes on the brink of losing it all for a man who had the guts to kiss her. These characters know how to pull at your emotions as they rally for Ms. Everdene’s attentions. It’s all worth watching though because we get invested in Ms. Everdene’s future early on as she progresses as mistress of a farm. Whether she deserves true happiness for we attitudes towards suitors or she gets what she deserves is up to the viewers opinion. Not many people would have the patience to court her, but she proves to be one remarkable woman.

Far from the Madding Crowd is worth an A for its gripping story, beautiful shots of England, and the characters who tug at our emotions.


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