Friday, June 4, 2010

Random Squib on "Daniel Deranda"

If you haven't, please read my post, The Author You know as George Elliot Thanks. :-)

So, this is just a mildly random post on what I liked and didn't like about the Masterpiece Theater portrayal of Daniel Deranda.

The strengths of the movie to me were the characters. (That's basically the strengths of any movie I like. ;-) They all seemed complex, and if sometimes extreme, believable...developed... interesting...

The most interesting character to me was Gwendolyn. She has obviously been pampered by her mother and hates being poor. She knows she beautiful and she uses it. She is pretty much utterly selfish. She marries a rich creep thinking she can control him. Before marrying him she even promises not to accept his proposal to his mistress who is raising his children with little money. Hello? Caution light, you'd think.

Basically she makes a series of miserable choices and she pays for it. She continues to see Daniel and makes us nervous being a little to friendly. Her husband becomes jealous etc... the end she does not get what she wants, but she is a very, very different person. She lost, but she's changed and content with where she has come. She now knows how to act like a considerate human. I know it was unusual, but where the story ended for her was actually very cool and satisfying for me.

The other characters, Daniel, Mirah, and Sir Hugo (especially Sir Hugo) really made the movie for me.

I can see why a lot of people do not like Daniel Deranda and I'm really not defending very well here, but I think it makes it as an interesting delve into human character. Obviously not every character is probably realistic, but I just found it a very interesting study. It really made me think.

The costumes and acting were done very well. I was very impressed, especially compared to many period dramas and George Elliot ones in particular. I really enjoyed Hugh Dancy, Jodhi May, Romola Garai, and Jamie Bamber's performances.

My main bone to pick (which you would known if I you did what I told you at the beginning of the post) was the story being pro-Jews vs. pro-Christian.

So...that's all very unclear and not a very cool squib....but that's it.
I've been working all day on a book project and my brain has been dead for the last hour or two. ;-)

Love to hear more discussion on Daniel Deranda or George Elliot in general.

Thanks for reading. I know it wasn't too thrilling.
Miss Pickwickian

One of the best things about it being Daniel's white suit....


Polka Dot said...

Yeah, I really liked it, but the main thing was awkward tension because of Gwendolyn being married and liking Daniel and all. That always makes me really uncomfortable...

Caniad said...

I enjoyed the film version, although I can't say that it made me want to read the book. If nothing else, the scenery and costumes made it worth watching.

Jubilant Wife said...

Wow, I haven't read the book or seen the moive, but you inspire me to perhaps do both.
Conerning your comment about Gywendolyn, I do like it when the author is realistic and let the character reap whan they have sown. Our culture seems to think that what we sow has nothing to do with what we reap.