Movie Review – Far From the Madding Crowd (2015)

Director: Thomas Vinterberg

Stars: Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen, Juno Temple, Tom Sturridge

Based on Thomas Hardy’s novel, Far From the Madding Crowd shows how an unconventional woman, Bathsheba (Mulligan) adapts when she inherits a farm and comes under the courtship of three very different suitors.

Well, okay, so I really enjoyed reading Tess of the D’Urbervilles but I haven’t read this one. However, I’m probably not going to. I initially liked the protagonist as she flouted social conventions, but then she made some decisions which seemed completely out of character. I didn’t feel she shared much chemistry with any of the suitors, and it was only the relationship with Gabriel (Schoenaerts) that was allowed to breathe and develop properly.

The scenery and landscapes were gorgeous, and I felt that the film brought to life the period setting but I couldn’t get invested in the characters, so whenever something shocking happened it left me feeling flat. There were also moments in the film that felt incredibly rushed and it gave me no chance to settle, and also confused me as I tried to work out the timing of all these events.

By all accounts this has been getting positive reviews, but not enough of it worked for me. I enjoyed the setting, the performances were okay, but it felt like it needed some more time to develop certain threads of the story. I only felt invested in one of the romances because that was the only one that seemed to be given any attention, so this one is a miss from me and I’m not going to recommend it.

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