Release date: 6th March 2015
Director: Thomas Vinterburg
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen, Tom Sturridge, Juno Temple
Runtime: 119 minutes
Genre: Period Drama
Watched in: 2D
Rating: 5/5 stars
I haven’t yet read Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd, so I’ll be reviewing this from the point of view of someone who hasn’t read it. However, I have read Tess of the D’Urbervilles, which is probably my favourite classic. There is something about Hardy’s work that I just love, and having seen this film it’s made me want to read more of his books, including Far From the Madding Crowd.
Anyway, back to the film. Carey Mulligan plays Bathsheba Everdeen (yes, every time someone said ‘Everdeen’ in the film Katniss popped into my head), an independent woman who gains an increase in her social status after inheriting her uncle’s farm. Being very independent, she comes across an inner conflict when three men begin courting her (don’t worry, it isn’t a pathetic love triangle or anything).
I don’t really have anything to criticise about this film because I absolutely loved it! It held my attention from start to finish and there were some surprises along the way. Typically of Hardy’s stories it is very realistic and less flouncy than other period dramas like Jane Austen, so don’t go in expecting Pride and Prejudice, this is a very different style. The filming was excellent and I felt immersed in the atmosphere of the film.
In terms of the acting I thought it was excellent. All of the actors did amazing jobs and none of them were weak. Carey Mulligan did a great job in the strong female lead, presenting the character’s few vulnerable moments as well as the headstrong moments. Each of the ‘love interests’ were well acted and every one of them is fleshed out and have their own character arcs, rather than just serving as the ‘love interest’ as in many romantic films.
It goes without saying that I love the plot. There’s lots going on and unlike many period dramas which are often quite slow there always seemed to be something happening in this film.
There isn’t much else for me to say because I absolutely adored it and will definitely be buying the DVD when it comes out and reading the book too!
One thought on “Film Review: Far From the Madding Crowd”
Mulligan is pretty terrific as Everdeen. For any performer playing a protagonist ahead of her time, the challenge is to respect the boundaries of what that character was, and is, up against.