måndag 25 mars 2013

Orlando 1992

I’ve set out on a quest; I shall see every movie and tv series that Toby Stephens has ever been in and my Sunday movie was “Orlando” based on Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando: A Biography.
Not having read the book beforehand I can’t say whether or not the movie follows the spirit of the book, or if they changed too much. But I can give my impressions on what I thought of the movie at least. 

Orlando starts out as a Lord Orlando (an androgynous man) played by Tilda Swinton, he is given an estate and a piece of land by Queen Elizabeth I on the condition that he "Do not fade. Do not wither. Do not grow old." 

One of several strange things about this movie is that queen Elizabeth I is played by a man.

So he goes through several ages, still young until he travels to Constantinople and there one day he wakes up to find he is now a woman. As a woman he encounters trouble with the law, as Orlando is not a man anymore there are lawsuits against her, for as a woman back in the day she was not entitled to keep her property, if she did not have a son.

Lord Orlando; in love with a Russian princess

My favorite quote is when Orlando is still a man, he’s had his heart broken by a woman and he says: “I can find only three words to describe the female sex. None of wich are worth expressing.”

After the transformation; Lady Orlando

She looks quite beautiful as a woman!

I’m not going to tell the whole story, but I have to point out a very interesting part of the movie.
Year: 1850
It is when she has been visited by the lawyers and she’s running out in a field, it’s foggy and wet and she falls to the ground. A man on a horse comes riding; the horse is frightened by her and rears, causing the man to fall to the ground. He then declares he’s sprained his ankle.
Sound familiar?
Well, the scene is just how Jane Eyre met Mr. Rochester. If this scene is indeed in the novel, I think Virginia Woolf must have been a Charlotte Brontë fan, and that little scene was an homage to the greatest novel of that time, Jane Eyre. If not, the director was the fan. ^^ 

He's fallen off his horse

Doesn't he look just like Mr. Rochester here?

Lady Orlando with her lover played by Billy Zane.

Finally, if you’re looking to see a lot of Toby in this movie, you’ll be sorely disappointed, he’s in ONE scene. He plays an actor playing Othello. His lines are:
”…then speak of one who loved not wisely but too well. Of one not easily jealous but being wrought. Perplexed in the extreme. Of one whose hand like the base indian threw a pearl away, worth more than all his tribe. …I kiss thee and I kill thee, no way but this; by killing myself to die upon a kiss.”

Toby Stephens as Othello (my screencap!)

*Toby kisses a man* (playing Desdemona)!!! :D Lovely!!
Then Orlando turns to the camera and whispers “Terrific play!”
Well, it’s Shakespeare’s Othello, so it should be ;) 

and I got a screencap of the kiss!! :D Angel is a happy girl!

This was a strange movie, but not too strange or boring. It moved through the ages and the fashions of the ages beautifully, there was some wisdom in there that I could not help but notice and I think I will have to read this novel when I am done with 1. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, 2. The Great Gatsby, 3. The Catcher in the Rye, 4. Emma, 5. Dracula (it’s a re-read). I have a lot to read!

I'd say all in all it was a good movie, strange, but good.

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