A real, live white male hero? Not possible!
I’ve watched it more times than I want to admit. But, as Sergeant Troy, the film’s anti-hero says just before he stops a richly deserved bullet to the heart, “Honesty in all things.” So. There you have it. Guilty as charged by my wife, who more than once has cast a wondering, skeptical glance my way as she goes up the basement stairs while I spin the elliptical, watching Far from the Madding Crowd yet again.
I like Carrie Mulligan as the impetuous, strong willed Bathsheba Everdene. And Mattias Schoenaerts as the wise, steadfast Gabriel Oak. I like the marriage bond that finally unites the two. I like that, right from the outset, “a baby or two” is recognized as the natural and desired outcome of marriage. I like the defiant heterosexuality. And the picture’s equally defiant sexual modesty, even prudery. I like the gentle, English countryside. And the Victorian conventions that bound it together. I particularly like that the film makes no effort whatsoever to appease the vast array of aggrieved minorities and pressure groups that Hollywood has seemingly come to believe are its primary raison d´être.
The thrill is gone
But all good things come to an end. Especially after the furnace is stoked cherry red. But in due course, I’m confident the thrill will be back. And what’ll I do then? Climb aboard the elliptical. And watch it again. Even knowing each of it’s twists and turns.
And which is something you might want to consider doing yourself.