In Victorian England, the independent and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak, a sheep farmer; Frank Troy, a reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood, a prosperous and mature bachelor.
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Based on Thomas Hardy's 19th century novel, Bathsheba Everdene is a willful, passionate girl who is never satisfied with anything less than a man's complete and helpless adoration. And she captures the lives and loves of three very different men: Gabriel Oak, a sheep farmer who is captivated by her beauty and proposes marriage; William Boldwood, a prosperous man in his early forties and a confirmed bachelor; and Sergeant Frank Troy, a handsome, reckless swordsman given to sudden fits of violence. Written by
John Schlesinger's film "Far From the Madding Crowd" is another good and almost epic story about a woman divided for the love of three men. Here Julie Christie plays a woman owner of a farm who gets involved (in one way or another) with a rich farmer (Peter Finch), an rustic and quite gentle countrymen (Alan Bates) and a playful heroic Seargent (Terence Stamp). What makes this story interesting is that she's a woman who most of the time is playing with these men not knowing what love really is and the audience is caught in the middle of her personal choice and their own choice of who's the perfect man for her.
My perspective is that she always makes the wrong choice. First she ignores the countrymen who works with her saying she's not in love with him despite his speech of why she must marry him is very convincingly. He gets out of her life but then he realizes he can't go very far but still keeps working for her. The rich farmer also sounds a excellent choice and he's devoted to her when she tells about her motives of why she won't marry him but if he waits she'll accept him. At last we got the military man, who despite their brief and careless meeting she falls in love with him right away. And just like the sheep that went downhill in the beginning of the movie (by the way terrible and almost pointless scene) their marriage seems to go nowhere, he only wants her money and plus he has a girlfriend. But that powerful woman still loves him: "You're my husband" she cries after he sees the corpse of his girlfriend and she sees that he wasn't interested in her at all.
Not a romantic film but it has some clichés and non original things of a similar flick; it's more like a study of how the perception of love is mistaken, confusing and that's why we make some unfortunately choices and some happy and good choices of the person we want to be close. Love? That's another and complex story.
If wasn't for some of the melodramatic clichés in many moments (The military faking his death to escape of his wife then his dreadful returning to her); the problems involving animals in some depressing parts; and the timing of the movie (it was way too long), it could be a better movie. I don't find the screenplay so complete and intriguing, most of the dialogs are so distant from the public and from the characters that there were times when I thought that characters weren't showing what they really felt at some climatic moments because the text didn't worked well. It is very distant.
At least the ensemble casting is fine (Alan Bates and Peter Finch notably), the editing was a enjoyable training exercise of what John Schlesing would do in "Midnight Cowboy" and the locations are very delightful. Not much of a memorable moment in the career of anyone involved with it but still a good movie that you can watch if you had nothing better to do or just to pass the time. 6/10
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