Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It ought to come like leaves to a tree, or it better not come at all.

Film: Bright Star

Starring: Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish

Synopsis: The drama based on the three-year romance between 19th century poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne, which was cut short by Keats' untimely death at age 25.

Grade: B+

This film had me swooning, but not for obvious reasons. Yes the story was touching, but John Keats dies at the end. No happy ending there to swoon over. I was swooning over the visual appeal during the entire film. The lighting and set design had me dreaming of owning a house on the east coast. I know the setting was England, but whatever. The east coast is as far as I went in my dreaming. My dream were trashed by my practicality remembering the snow and winter, but if I could live in the spring/summer of this film I would never want for anything. The fields of wildflowers were magical. Something about the character Fanny inspired me and made me question the whole synopsis of the movie. She is a seamstress who makes her own clothes. At one point, she says something along the lines that this skill is more marketable than writing poetry. I thought about this at the end of the film when she convinced her mother that saying that Fanny and John were engaged before he went away to Rome for health reasons. Fanny was not allowed to marry John and travel with him to Rome because he had no money. Fanny could have generated an income for herself that would have sustained her and John, at least until the time he died. And maybe if they had been free to marry and be together he would have lived longer. Fanny's father had died and yet her mother was able to carry on and care for herself and 3 children. I could not understand the double standard of sorts. Maybe there was more to the story that was left untold, but I was quite put off with the rhyme and reason given to Fanny to keep her in England. Oh maybe it is the feminist in me wanting to punch unnecessary gender role standards in the face. But instead of dwelling for too long on the story line, I'll continue swooning over the lighting and set design.


Meggy said...

This movie looks good. I'm glad to hear you're a feminist! I recently read this really great book a friend gave to me called "The Feminine Mystique" by Betty Friedan. If you haven't already read it, I think you would really enjoy it. :)

Stephanie said...

It does look like a very aesthetic film, but I'm not sure we'll end up watching it because movies are a rarity around here these days (too many other things to occupy our time).

That said, Food Inc. is on my "I really, really want to watch it" list. Have you seen that documentary, by chance?