Netflix A-Z: Far From the Madding Crowd (2015)

Hello Period Drama! Its been a while, hasn’t it? I love period dramas.  Love them to absolute bits. I’ve read some pretty good reviews on Far from the Madding Crowd last year so I was waiting to get access to this one.  There was no doubt when I embarked on this 2015 catch-up phase that this would be the F selection. I haven’t seen a lot of Carey Mulligan but from what I’ve seen, she is rather talented. As some of you may know, I’ve read very little Classics so I haven’t actually read Far from the Madding Crowd before or even heard of it. That being said, I knew nothing about the story. I still believe that is the best way to see a movie 😉

Let’s check it out!

Far from the Madding Crowd (2015)

far from the madding crowd

Director: Thomas Vinterberg

Cast: Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Tom Sturridge, Juno Temple, Jessica Barden, Michael Sheen

In Victorian England, the independent and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), a sheep farmer; Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge), a reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood (Michael Sheen), a prosperous and mature bachelor.-IMDB

 Far from the Madding Crowd is a really well-crafted character development sort of romance.  While I can’t compare the classic to this adaptation, I truly appreciated it in a whole.  It had beautiful music and great cinematography.  It seems like we are watching Bathsheba Everdene grow in all her independent manners, and while it seems like she is on top of her feelings and able to control her own emotions and motivations, we know whether her choices are good or bad.  I think that is what is so great about classic stories.  It makes us involved in a truly simple journey of a character, at the same time, we are smarter than the character as she learns through bad decisions and triumph with her when she wins, except in a situation like this one, we all root for one character or another who we want her to be with.  It was no doubt who I wanted her to be with and that the story was giving us all the signs that he was the best man even if he wasn’t comparable to the other two in other qualities or accomplishments.

far from the madding crowd

With such a character-driven story, the cast has to be absolutely competent and I’m happy to say that they are. Carey Mulligan is a fine actress and has the elegance to portray a character that is strong and independent in a world, especially that of the farming business where its ruled by men like Bathsheba Everdene.  She has the motivations and toughness to make her own decisions.  However, she is still a lady and there are moments when the character drove me a little crazy but made me admire her stand.  There were realistic moments where while I knew it was a bad decision (if you’ve seen it, you’ll know what I’m talking about), I could understand why she would do that. Over the almost close to 2 hours of runtime, there were a million feelings and thoughts that ran through my head as I grew to really connect with her character.

far from the madding crowd

In a way, what makes Far from the Madding Crowd so great was the relationship it took the time to build between Bathsheba and Gabriel Oak.  He was the first man that proposed to her and I always mean to go back to see there was an actual rejection on her part. Gabriel Oak is played by Matthias Schoenaerts and I’m telling you, this man is amazing.  He embodies the character of Gabriel Oak and is just that really amazing man who is right there quietly. I’m swooning, I’m sorry. He is just so perfect.  All the moments he shares with Bathsheba even if its just discussing or talking is really fun or mesmerizing, whatever the word is for them.  The chemistry is through the roof for them and I loved it so much.

far from the madding crowd

What is excellent about this movie is that every character by its outstanding cast has a different style and charisma to give them each an individuality in their characters.  It helps us determine whether Tom Sturridge’s Frank Troy is truly reckless and/or broken.  Or whether Michael Sheen’s William Boldwood is respectable and/or hopelessly in love. It gives them traits and faults just like Matthias Schoenaerts’ Gabriel Oak is also human because he also has faults..  Who is suitable for Bathsheba, right? When and how does she determine whether she needs a husband? What I’m trying to say is that a great movie makes us care for the characters and I definitely did.  In the last scenes, I was all sorts of emotional (partially because I’m been super stressed and tired so

Overall, Far from the Madding Crowd is a great period drama.  The way the cast does a fine job at portraying the character that the story itself builds with a great performance by Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba and Matthias Schoenaerts as Gabriel Oak.  Their chemistry was absolutely captivating to watch.  With the lovely music and beautiful location and cinematography, this movie was an absolute pleasure to watch from start to finish!

Have you seen Far from the Madding Crowd? What did you think of it? If you’ve read the classic book, how does it compare?