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Saturday, 22 August 2015

Movie Review: Madame Bovary (2015), originally a French movie

Photosource: http://culturacolectiva.com/madame-bovary-la-novela-que-desnudo-a-una-sociedad/

Brief Overview
This movie was an adaptation of a French novel of the same title, written by Gustave Flaubert.  I have not read the book yet, so won't be able to comment if the movie plot has deviated a lot from the original novel. In the theater, this film went on for around 1 hour, 18 minutes.

As the movie plot goes, Emma Rouault (played by Mia Wasikowska), the beautiful daughter of a pig farmer, impulsively married a small town doctor, Charles Bovary (played by Henry Lloyd-Hughes), thinking that she could finally bid goodbye to a mundane life to live out her fantasy of excitement and romance.

Unfortunately, life was not what it seemed in the big, beautiful house. Dr. Charles Bovary was always busy with his patients; and Emma was left alone most of the time to play the piano, take walks and wait for Charles to be home. Her only companion in the daytime was her lady-in-waiting.

Soon the boredom turned into bitterness, and beautiful Emma began to take on lovers - men who were acquaintances she met through her husband, ironically, and she began to despise Charles and pressurize him to move to a bigger town.

Her fantasy continued to grow as she purchased more and more lavish items for  herself and the house, and she thought she could leave Charles for her lovers. That was where the lies and deceit began to set in, as they disappointed her one by one.  A poignant ending ensued, as well as how expectations went.

Photosource: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/reviews/madame-bovary-film-

Review / Thoughts
Beautiful portrayal of settings, from the mood of the house that followed Emma's emotions gradually - from a cheery place to a dull, gloomy prison.  The dated costumes that she had customised were very stunning as well, instantly transforming her into an elegant lady with taste, not surprising that she would attract the attention of her husband's acquaintances.

Perhaps due to lack of women - or beautiful women - in that time, in that place, but the men came after her one by one despite knowing that she was a married woman. That part was a little confusing-  I might need to read the book to understand it better.

As many French women in her time, (or Frenchman as well, for that matter), the pursuit of beauty and expensive things soon became an addiction that would imbue her husband in massive debts unfortunately -  a very likely scenario that probably still occurs in today's context.  The puzzlement of why Monsieur Lheureux (played by Rhys Ifans) was willing to extend credit to Emma for all her luxurious indulgences - from clothes to house decor), knowing full well that her husband could not afford them, was another point to ponder. No, there was no sexual relations between the two.

This is a slow-paced movie with little conversation, so feast your eyes upon the beautiful expanse of nature as well as sophisticated French-styled costumes and landscapes. One might identify that many a time, portrayal of happiness or richness might merely be a facade; one might also wonder at Emma's folly, her attempts to pursue happiness in all the wrong, delusional places, and feel for her.

A rather typical story set in that time period, IMO.   Catch it if you are a literature lover, or fan of dated fashion, but not if you are familiar with the novel.

Photosource: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/madame-bovarys-malaise-

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