Thomas Vinterberg’s on-screen adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s classic Victorian love story comes to cinemas this Spring. The film is taken from Hardy’s fourth novel and first major success, and stars Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen and Tom Sturridge, as the headstrong Bathsheba Everdene and her three suitors.
Bathsheba (Mulligan) is a beautiful yet penniless young woman who meets Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), a sheep farmer, whose life she saves one evening – captivated by her, he proposes, but she declines. Then, inheriting her uncle’s farm she moves to the town of Weatherbury, in which Oak soon finds himself fighting a fire. After rescuing Bathsheba’s farm, she hires him as a shepherd.
Bathsheba begins a flirtation with a local, handsome bachelor, Mr. Boldwood (Sheen), who in turn becomes obsessed by her after she sends him a mischievous valentine displaying the words “Marry me.” Boldwood pursues Bathsheba, who refuses him before agreeing to at least consider it. The same night, Bathsheba meets the reckless Sergeant Frank Troy (Sturridge) who has recently, and secretly, impregnated a local girl, Fanny Robin.
Troy falls for Bathsheba, and Boldwood is furious, as Bathsheba warns Troy of this, he charms her into agreeing to marry him. Oak, now a firm friend, watches the events unfold and does not approve of the marriage. Shortly after Bathsheba and Troy are wed, Fanny dies in childbirth and Troy’s status as the father is revealed. Grief-striken, he runs away, only to return at the chaotic climax of the film: Bathsheba is spending Christmas at the besotted Boldwood’s, to which Troy arrives in a fit of fury only to be shot dead by Boldwood. Boldwood is sentenced to life in prison and Oak finally takes Bathsheba’s hand. A beautiful Victorian love story set in the rolling English hills meets complex and tense thriller.
Far From The Madding Crowd. In cinemas this spring.
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