Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Trollope Collection

What I knew about Anthony Trollope 2 weeks ago was that his several works listed on last pages of Wordsworth Classics novels. The Warden was an interesting title, but I already decided that language used by many male authors from 19th century was more difficult to read than the females. So I thought to buy the movie version first.

Anthony Trollope Collection is of 3 movies: The Way We Live Now, He Knew He Was Right, and The Barchester Chronicles.

The Way We Live Now was wonderful. It had lots of webs and interesting characters. The story centered around a newbie in London, Augustus Melmotte (played excellently by David Suchet), who seemed to be a millionaire. He built a company and a young engineer came to him with a proposal to build a new railway in Mexico. Melmotte agreed to finance the railway, but he was not as he seemed to be. There was also a complicated love story among Paul Montague (the young engineer), Hetta Carbury, her cousin Roger, and the mysterious Mrs Hurtle from America. Melmotte’s French wife gave a nice touch of humour with her gestures (she clearly didn't belong to the London's high society) and I liked Matthew Macfadyen here (than in Spooks, Pride & Prejudice, and Perfect Strangers); he did a good job bringing Sir felix to life. In all, the whole cast was perfect. I also liked the soundtrack.

He Knew He Was Right was also very good. It was about a husband who believed his wife was having an affair with her god-father, and by doing so, he destroyed his own family and happiness. Sometimes misunderstandings can be funny; I found myself giggled while the characters on screen were depressed. The story in this movie is still up-to-date so I’m not surprised if a modern version will soon be made. I liked very much Bill Nighy’s interpretation of Colonel Osborne, who made many life miserables but he himself seemed didn’t know about it.

The 3rd movie was The Barchester Chronicles, based on ‘The Warden’ and ‘Barchester Towers’. After The Way We Live Now and He Knew He Was Right, this was rather slow and dull, perhaps because it was made long ago in 1982. However I feel I should not complain because this had more running time and therefore should be more faithful to the books it was based. The story was about church people who ran the cathedral in Barchester, started with Rev. Septimus Harding who was publicly accused in a main newspaper, that he was not suitable as the warden. The accusation was soon redrawn (for it didn’t have a solid base) but it was too late. Featuring Alan Rickman as Rev. Obadiah Slope, who played the irritating character very well. His last goodbye to the bishop and his wife was unforgettable; he wished they 'would live forever' but his tone undoubtedly meant 'live forever in hell'. I like the part where Mr Harding went to London and left a message for Sir Abraham Haphazard; the clerk was hilarious. It was nice to see Susan Hampshire as Signora Madeline Neroni. [I almost forgot that she was also in Wonderful Life with Cliff Richard.] One of her dresses was very beautiful with bunch of colourful flowers on the chest part. I only don’t understand why suddenly Eleanor Bold could fall in love with Rev Arabin, or perhaps I was playing with jumping clay when I watched episode 3 – 5 so couldn’t give my full attention. It was interesting to see the tumult of a cathedral, and until now I still think that it's better to attend a service and then go home soon than to involve in such things.

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