Far from the Madding Crowd


Action / Drama / Romance


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July 24, 2015 at 03:25 PM


Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba Everdene
Juno Temple as Fanny Robbin
Matthias Schoenaerts as Gabriel Oak
Michael Sheen as William Boldwood
720p 1080p
816.81 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 59 min
P/S 7 / 119
1.65 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 59 min
P/S 2 / 40

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by shawneofthedead 4 / 10

A decent adaptation of a problematic novel, which awkwardly tries to find a feminist angle where there isn't much of one to begin with.

How do you solve a problem like Bathsheba Everdene? It's a question that has plagued literary enthusiasts since 1874, when Thomas Hardy first introduced her to the world in one of his classic novels, Far From The Madding Crowd. Today, 141 years later, that same question haunts Thomas Vinterberg's sumptuous, smart adaptation - one that tries valiantly, but doesn't wholly succeed, in celebrating the strength of a character that was always somewhat illusory to begin with.

In a time ruled and defined exclusively by men, Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) stands apart as a free-spirited, independent young lass who refuses to bow to convention. When she inherits the farm belonging to her late uncle, she insists on running it herself - working in the fields and sacking the male workers who disrespect her authority. Small wonder, then, that Bathsheba draws the attention of three suitors, each one representing a different social class and a unique brand of manhood: stoic farmer Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts); stern, serious-minded landowner William Boldwood (Michael Sheen); and sexy, emotionally scarred sergeant Francis Troy (Tom Sturridge).

The main problem with Hardy's novel, which is largely replicated in Vinterberg's faithful adaptation, is its awkward attitude towards its lead female character. To be sure, Hardy gives Bathsheba a modern voice that still rings true today: "It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in a language chiefly made by men to express theirs," she declares. It's a line so delicious that screenwriter David Nicholls nicked it wholesale for the film. And yet, on a deeper reading of the novel, it becomes far harder to tell whether Hardy is celebrating Bathsheba's independence, or punishing her for it.

To their credit, Vinterberg and Nicholls do try a little harder to add a truly feminist bent to their version of Bathsheba's story. More care is taken to forge a genuine emotional connection between Bathsheba and Gabriel, even as her seduction of William Boldwood is made less purposeful. Bathsheba still finds herself approaching Sergeant Troy with lust rather than caution, but she does so in a more clear-eyed manner. In effect, Mulligan's Bathsheba seems bemused at and somewhat resigned to the sillier decisions she makes in her romantic pursuits.

The trouble is that, while these little changes do add up to a stronger character, they also result in thematic and tonal confusion. The truth of the matter is that Hardy was not always concerned with celebrating Bathsheba as a character in her own right - he was frequently more interested in commenting on the ideal romantic suitor, the kind of man to whom Bathsheba should give her heart. There's never any doubt, in Hardy's mind at least, what her choice should be. After a point, then, Vinterberg's film flounders because there is, truthfully, no real tension in the romantic dilemma that stares Bathsheba in the face.

It's a shame, because Vinterberg has brought Hardy's world to life with a very good cast indeed. Mulligan plays the fire and spirit of Bathsheba well, although she's trapped as much by the script as her character is by Hardy's words and ideas in the novel. As the sturdy Gabriel Oak (his surname says it all), Schoenaerts turns a rather dull but handy lump of a man into a semi-credible romantic prospect. The ever-reliable Sheen doesn't have quite enough screen-time, but nevertheless packs a great deal of depth and despair into the loss of William Boldwood's heart (and, perhaps, mind) to the charms of Ms. Everdene. There's almost more to be enjoyed in the semi-confessional scene shared by these two very different men as they sheepishly dance around their feelings for the same woman. Sturridge, meanwhile, is the relatively weaker link in the cast; his performance is fuelled more by his sexy moustache and saucy swordmanship than anything else.

At a point in time when female-led films are being discussed, dissected and celebrated more than ever before, Far From The Madding Crowd would - at least on the surface - appear to be part of this growing tradition. The filmmakers have certainly tried to create a version of Bathsheba Everdene that's unequivocally appealing to a modern audience. But it's an effort that, ultimately, doesn't quite work, since the point of Hardy's novel was arguably more about the man Bathsheba should marry, and less about Bathsheba herself.

Reviewed by veronicammartin 9 / 10

close to perfection

I make a point of disliking screen adaptations of classic masterpieces of English Literature so I went along to look for faults in the adaptation.

High praise indeed from me; there are very few departures from the masterly text! In fact I LOVED this film.

Visually stunning and artistically photographed, the attention to historical detail was perfect. Costumes, houses, carriages, uniforms, tea cups......Faultless.

Michael Sheen's sensitive and nervous portrayal of Boldwood made the film for me alongside the superb Matthias S. who is the ideal choice for Gabriel Oak.

9/10 from me. 9 ? Well.... a few mistakes over the Fanny Robin scenario. :)

Reviewed by David Ferguson ([email protected]) 7 / 10

Pick Me!

Greetings again from the darkness. If you have read Thomas Hardy's 1874 novel or seen director John Schlesinger's 1967 (and far more energetic) screen adaption starring Julie Christie, or even if you are a High School Literature student with the novel on your summer reading list, you will probably be interested in this more modern-day thinking approach from director Thomas Vinterberg (The Hunt). It's more modern not in look, but rather in the feminist perspective of Bathsheba Everdene (one of my favorite literary character names).

Carey Mulligan plays Ms. Everdene, and she is exceedingly independent and ambitious for the time period, while simultaneously being attractive in a more timeless manner. This rare combination results in three quite different suitors. She first meets sheep farmer Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts, Rust and Bone), who is smitten with her spunk, and he proposes by offering her way out of poverty. She declines and the next time they cross paths, the tables have turned as she has inherited a farm and he has lost everything due to an untrained sheep dog. Next up is a proposal from a socially awkward, but highly successful neighborhood farmer. Michael Sheen plays William Boldwood, who is clueless in his courting skills, but understands that combining their farms would be a make-sense partnership. The third gent is Sergeant Francis Troy (Tom Sturridge), a master of seduction by sword. She is sucked in by Troy's element of danger, unaware of his recent wedding gone awry to local gal Fanny Robbin (Juno Temple).

As with most literary classics … and in fact, most books … the screen adaptation loses the detail and character development that make the book version so enjoyable. Still, we understand the essence of the main characters, and the actors each bring their own flavor to these roles. The story has always been first and foremost a study in persistence, and now director Vinterberg and Mulligan explore the modern day challenges faced by women in selecting a mate: slow and steady, financially set, or exciting and on edge. In simpler language, should she follow her head, wallet or heart?

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