Review: Far from the Madding Crowd [Film]

Far from the Madding Crowd is a period film set in England in the late 1800s. It’s about a young, independent woman named Bathsheba Everdene, who inherits a farm and ends up in a position to attract three very different suitors. The first is Gabriel Oak, a shepherd who meets Ms. Everdene as her neighbor but then ends up working for her after an unfortunate incident with his sheep causes him to lose everything. The second is Mr. William Boldwood, a handsome older man with plenty of money and resources to offer. Then there is Sergeant Francis Troy, a soldier with a bad-boy attitude.

The film stars Carrey Mulligan (Ms. Everdene) , Mathew Schoenaerts (Gabriel Oak, the first suitor), Michael Sheen (William Boldwood, the second suitor), Tom Sturridge (Sergeant Troy, the third suitor), and Juno Temple (Fanny, Troy’s lost love from before he met Ms. Everdene). It’s based on the book by Thomas Hardy. Here is the IMDB page for the film and the Amazon page for the book.

 Warning: This review contains some spoilers!

 What I liked:

The setting was gorgeous. It doesn’t get much more romantic than the English countryside! One of my favorite things about period films is that they usually feature a lot of pretty scenery, and this one was no different.

I also really liked Ms. Everdene, at least at first. She had some fierce independence going, which is great to see, especially during a time in history when women weren’t respected as equals. I’m big on independence, as you can probably tell if you’ve read my “single life” blog series, so right away I related. Then of course there was Mr. Oak. He was gorgeous, and the chemistry between the pair captured my attention.

What I didn’t like:

After Ms. Everdene meets Sergeant Troy, the story took a strange turn. Her falling for Troy was bizarre and seemed to clash with her independent nature. He was cute enough, I guess, and I get that a lot of women are enticed by the bad boy. But also the whole “meet me in the woods so I can almost kill you with my sword” foreplay was just too weird for me. She had already turned down two nice, handsome suitors, and then she marries this guy? It just didn’t make sense. Also, this is probably just me, but if a guy ever sliced off a lock of my hair like that, they’d never find his body.

Troy was an interesting character, though, because he wasn’t a full-on bad guy, but he wasn’t that good, either. He clearly could be an ass, and he had a gambling problem, but he did seem to feel true love for Fanny. In fact, I almost felt that Troy and Fanny deserved their own story instead of being crammed into this one.

I would have liked it better without William Boldwood as well. Not because I didn’t like him, but because I did like him and couldn’t stand to see him hurt. It was his own choice to kill Troy in the end, but everything that led up to it seemed unfair to him.

Basically, I would have liked the story much better had Ms. Everdene simply said yes to Gabriel right at the start. He was SO attractive, smart, kind, and sweet. I guess “woman receives lamb from cute guy and gets married” would have amounted to a five-minute movie. It was satisfying to see them finally come together, but knowing Mr. Boldwood likely spent the rest of his life rotting alone in a prison cell really put a damper on their happily ever after, at least for me.

This movie makes a strong point that is undeniably true: Love can be complicated, painful, and often leaves a huge mess behind.

Rating: 4 stars for beautiful cinematography, great acting, and a frustrating-but-juicy story.

PS. If you’ve read the book, was it similar to the film? I was thinking the book might explain a bit more about the relationship with Troy and what was going through Ms. Everdene’s head. If you have any thoughts on the film or the book, please leave a comment.

Embracing the Single Life: Why Being Alone Might be the Most Romantic Thing You Could Do

If you’re anything like me, when you’re in a shitty relationship, romance is the last thing on your mind. You don’t want to think about cuddling, kissing, and going to nice restaurants with some amazing guy. You don’t want to think about sex. You’re too busy planning a move to some rural part of the country, where you can hopefully acquire a small, dark shack to live out the rest of your days in.

This is why I’m now a firm believer that you should get out of bad relationships as soon as possible. If having someone in my life causes me to feel less happy than I do without them in my life, that person gets the axe.

There is one requirement for maintaining this policy. You have to be willing to be alone.

Finding Peace with the Single Life

Maybe you’ve just gone through a breakup, and the pain is still fresh. Perhaps you’ve been single so long that it seems you might as well take the rural-shack route. Either way, taking a few minutes to stop and embrace the beauty of your single life can benefit you.

If you’re happy being single—awesome. I am too, and it’s a wonderful thing that I could rave about for hours. However, for this blog, I wanted to talk specifically about how being single can actually be a romantic choice that can assist you in not just finding a person but also the right one.

How Loving Solitude Can Help Prepare You for Your Next Relationship

Most of us, even those like myself who enjoy being single, would like to find an ideal partner to share life with one day. That is far from easy. The majority of couples don’t last a lifetime. That’s just how it is. However, happy partnerships do occur, so we all have reason to hope. And by being sinbookreader.jpeggle now, you’re actually doing the best possible thing you can do to attract your ideal romance.

  1. You’ll Have the Time to Think About What You Want

If you jump from one relationship to another out of desperation to not be alone, you’ll never have the peace and solitude required to reflect upon what it is you really need.

I’m a very big believer in the law of attraction. It’s mentioned in most of my stories, because I believe it to be a basic foundation of reality. To find the right person, you need to know what the right person looks like, and I don’t mean physically.

What sort of qualities would your dream partners have, and most important, how would they make you feel? If you can meditate on the feelings your ideal relationship would create for you, such as the feeling of being supported or how wonderful it feels to have a partner who gets your sense of humor, you’ll start attracting someone who will make you feel that way. Creating a vision board can help with this.

  1. Intimacy Will Feel like New Again

Okay, this one doesn’t apply to some of you, but I figured I’d go ahead and mention it. I don’t believe in casual sex under any circumstances. I’m not shaming you if you do. Please don’t think that. People should have freedom over what they do with their bodies, so if you feel casual sex is right for you, then go get yours.

That said, I reserve all forms of physical intimacy, from sex to cuddling, for people I’m in a committed, monogamous relationship with. Therefore, when I’m single for long enough, I start forgetting what these things feel like. In the future, when I do experience physical touch again, it will feel like the first time. There’s nothing quite like getting butterflies the way you did when you were young.

  1. You Won’t Come with Baggage

When we get out of bad relationships, a lot of people have a tendency to immediately look for another one. There are a lot of reasons for this, such as:

  • Fear of being alone.
  • Wanting to punish the ex.
  • The desire for sexual intimacy.
  • Hoping there’s a reason for all of this, and projecting those hopes onto an innocent person.

It all makes sense. It’s not easy to accept when someone hurts you. It leaves you feeling jaded and hating the universe. However, as a single person, you have the opportunity to work on healing and clearing the baggage out of your emotional mind without any distractions.

takeback.jpgYou’ll also have the chance to sort out deeper issues, such as childhood traumas, addictions, or other conditions that might be holding you back in life and love. That means, by the time a love interest appears in your life, you’ll be able to throw yourself into it with an open heart. You’ll also have developed the tools to walk away if it that person doesn’t turn out to be as great as they initially seemed.

  1. You’ll be Available

The simplest reason why you need to be single to find the right person is obvious: You’ll be available. What do most great romance novels have in common? They begin with single characters who are doing their own thing in life. Okay, maybe some romances do begin with scandalous circumstances, such as cheating, but the easiest way to prepare for a monogamous relationship is to  be available for one.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have standards or play hard to get. Just remember that if you stay with the wrong person out of fear of being alone, it’s going to be a lot harder when you eventually meet the right one.

     5. You’ll be Ready

The majority of people will embrace the possibility of romance when it shows up, but that doesn’t mean they’re ready. I am guilty of this myself. I never took the proper amount of time to heal after one of the hardest and most toxic relationships of my life. I should have realized what I’m seeing now: I need a nice, long period of my adult life to myself before I attempt to settle down with anyone.

Of course, embracing the single life doesn’t mean you’ll find the perfect partner as soon as you’re ready. It might take twenty tries, or it might take a lot more than that. But I do believe with all of my heart that the willingness to be single is a crucial component to finding the right person. Now that I’m on my own, I’m starting to believe in romance again. I won’t be attempting to date anytime soon, but if it happens suddenly, the way it does in novels, I’ll be open to it.

Until then, I’ll be enjoying my peace and freedom, doing what I want with my time, and experiencing true joy, because that’s how life should be. The right person will only enhance that.

___

After getting brutally dumped by his ex, Devin was ready to embrace the single life. Then Cora comes along. He’s fixing to throw in the towel and settle down—but is she? Or will they keep hovering on the EDGE OF SOMETHING MORE? Available now at Amazon.