Monday, January 31, 2011

Review: Adam Bede

Another movie in The George Eliot Collection, my mom and I saw this a while ago. We were going through the collection and wanted something short to watch before we went out for lunch. We saw that this was only 102 minutes long, so we decided to watch it. We were also interested in it because Susannah Harker, who played Jane Bennet in the 1995 miniseries of Pride and Prejudice, was in it.

The story starts in a court room with a woman named Hetty Sorrel (Patsy Kinsit) is on trial for murder. She is found guilty and sentenced to death, at which she faints.

The story flashes back to the countryside and we are introduced to our characters. Adam Bede (Iain Glen) is a hardworking farmer and has fallen in love with Hetty Sorrel, who lives on her uncle's (Mr. Poyser) property. Hetty's cousin, Dinah Morris (Susannah Harker), also lives with them and is a lay Methodist preacher. Hetty falls in love with Captain Arthur Donnithorne. The story revolves around this love rectangle between these four characters.

There are a couple of actors/actresses that you might recognize in Adam Bede. Iain Glen (who plays Adam Bede) was Mr. Preston in Wives and Daughters, Susannah Harker (who plays Dinah) was Jane Bennet in the 1995 miniseries of Pride and Prejudice, Julia Mckenzie (who plays Mrs. Poyser) was Mrs. Forrester in Cranford, and Patsy Kensit (who plays Hetty) was Eppie in Silas Marner.

Adam Bede (Iain Glen) and Dinah
(Susannah Harker)
The whole time I was watching this movie, I thought there seemed something wrong with Hetty. The way she acted throughout just seemed really strange to me. You could say that she almost acted childlike, but she even acted strangely for being childlike. Something just didn't seem right with her.

This next part is a Spoiler. I thought the whole Adam/Dinah relationship thing came on rather suddenly. The whole movie, they seemed like they were friends... only friends. Then all of a sudden at the end, they're going to get married? Adam really got over Hetty really quickly after being engaged to her and then once Hetty is sentenced to Australia and the engagement is over, all of a sudden he's engaged to Dinah? It just seemed too sudden. End of Spoiler

The costuming wasn't too bad. The story takes place in 1799, which would be during the early Regency Era, but the clothes seemed to resemble some earlier clothing. Considering that the characters are farmers, it would be understandable that they don't have the latest fashions.

Hetty (Patsy Kensit) with
Arthur Donnithorne (James
Dinah is very plainly dressed; she always wears the same black dress with a white kerchief and a white cap. This goes with her humble attitude. Since she is a lay preacher, she is trying to live her life simply. You can compared Dinah's attire to Hetty's, which had much more color. There was a red dress paired with a white kerchief that Hetty wore that I thought looked nice. Considering that Hetty is not as humble as Dinah, her clothes being more colorful would go with her personality.

The music didn't really stand out to me. There are some miniseries/films which you hear the music and it immediately stands out in your memory for a long time. In the case of Adam Bede, I can't remember there being any outstanding scores.

Overall: 2/5
I didn't care for this movie. It seemed like the movie was more about Hetty than about Adam. There was a bit of a mature scene, so if you do watch this movie, be warned. Susannah Harker did do a nice job of acting, so she is a plus to this movie. I probably wouldn't watch it a second time...

Adam Bede is available on DVD in The George Eliot Collection or sold separately. It runs for about 102 minutes on one disk.

1 comment:

  1. I believe that many of the movie's narrative problems - especially the ending with Adam and Dinah - originated from George Eliot's novel.

    The story takes place in 1799, which would be during the early Regency Era, but the clothes seemed to resemble some earlier clothing.

    The Regency Era did not begin until 1810 and lasted for ten years.


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