Thursday, January 27, 2011

Gone with the wind

Well, after the somewhat horrible images of Linda Blair and demonic possession, let’s go back to 1939 and the release of Gone with the Wind, based on the novel by Margaret Mitchell. The story recounts the American Civil War and Reconstruction era, but is first and foremost a love story.
What can I say about it that has not been said before? For one, you need to have time, as it lasts for about 3 hours and 45 minutes. I read the book years ago, and strongly recommend it - the movie is exctly how I had pictured it in my mind.

Yes it’s 1939, yes the technological capabilities were limited, but whenever I see an “old” movie, I am always shocked by the decor – looks so fake it is actually kind of hilarious, but sometimes that may slightly kill the credibility of the scene!

Vivien Leigh is of course amazing : her face shows each single emotion: love, hate, anger, pain. In the end, hers is a bit of a sad story: she pursues Ashley all of her life, without realizing the true love of her life is in front of her. Ever happened to you? Her first two marriages are calculated and without love, which leads Rhett to ask “Did you ever think of marrying just for fun?”. The film has some humour to it, which contrasts with the harsh reality of the war and danger. Here Scarlett replies: “Marriage, fun? Fiddle-dee-dee. Fun for men you mean”.
I like Olivia de Havilland, although, as her character maybe imposes, she lacks substance, as she did when playing Marian in Robin Hood. That said, given the strong personality of Scarlett, everyone is bound to look pale by comparison. I hated Prissy, found her annoying, and her high-pitched voice gave me a headache. 
The real star is Mammy. Mammy rocks. She sees and understands everything, speaks her mind, and is probably the only person that Scarlett is not able to manipulate. My favourite scene is at the beginning:
Scarlett: Ashley told me he likes to see a girl with a healthy appetite!
Mammy: What gentlemen says and what they thinks is two different things, and I ain't noticed Mr. Ashley askin' for to marry you.

 What else? Oh yes: Rhett “I believe in Rhett Butler, he's the only cause I know”. A character full of contradictions, who we learn to love. He is a crook, but also incredibly human and dependable, although it may be difficult to see at first.

Last word to Scarlett O’Hara:
I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow.
After all... tomorrow is another day.

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