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Wide Sargasso Sea is an attempt to catch the Brazilian poet Ana Cristina Cesar, who killed herself at the age of 31, in 1983. Icon of the marginal literature generation of Rio de Janeiro in... See full summary »
Ana Cristina Cesar,
Armando Freitas Filho
A young female landowner in 1840s Jamaica marries a just-arrived Englishman to avoid losing her property. All seems to be perfect, love arises, and happiness is on the way, but she is hiding an old secret regarding her childhood and her mother. Slowly, this secret begins to erode this perfect relationship and, perhaps, her mother's story will begin again...with her. Written by
Luis Carvacho <email@example.com>
The "Sargasso Sea", according to website Wikipedia, "...is a region in the gyre in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is bounded on the west by the Gulf Stream; on the north, by the North Atlantic Current; on the east, by the Canary Current; and on the south, by the North Atlantic Equatorial Current. This system of ocean currents forms the North Atlantic Gyre. All the currents deposit the marine plants and refuse they carry into this sea". See more »
The Wide Sargasso Sea is one of the most beautiful books ever written. Following a string of only mildly successful novels and short stories, Rhys disappeared off the radar, and many believed her dead. She was discovered years later living in seclusion on the south of England. Throughout her house were numerous manuscripts forming what became The Wide Sargasso Sea. The novel was a labour of love for Rhys in a sense, but despite the critical acclaim it received she described the success as (I paraphrase) too little too late.
Rhys' novel details the relationship between the Rochester of Jane Eyre and Antoinette, his first wife. The novel, however, is not truly about this. The true importance of the story is the oppression of Antoinette by her husband and society as a whole. She is a Creole: inherently hot blooded and passionate. Rochester cannot handle this aspect of her nature, and attempts to remove it from her but cannot; it is inherent.
The film suggests that Anotinette descends into madness. This is not what Rhys wished to demonstrate. Antoinette never went insane, but rather the anger if her treatment at the hands of Rochester drove her to an act of rashness, but not madness. In her actions at the end of the film, Antoinette is not losing control, but rather regaining it.
This is lost in the film. The beautiful story is diminished considerably. The first two sections of the novel are reduced to 10 minutes, making the whole plot seem rushed. This was, it would appear, to make was for as much gratuitous nudity as possible.
All that redeems the film (and the only reason I rated it a 3 and not a 1) is the beautiful depiction of the scenery. I suggest people who have read the book avoid the film, and those interested in both stick to the novel and stay well away from this.
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