Sunday, September 22, 2013

douglas booth

Tatler August 2013
Look closely and you will see the face of an angel ... nah, it's Pip! Was it last year that the BBC did a new adaptation of Great Expectations? Yes,  and it was an excellent remake starring young Douglas Booth, pictured here, and Gillian Anderson of the XFiles. I hadn't, when I saw it, thought to call him 'pretty,' but as I recall, he was a rather dashing figure as the man with great expectations.

I love the story. The idea that love, or double crossing for that matter, can can drive one to madness. Miss Havisham is a romantic character ... frozen in her moment of devastation. I think that is what happens to many of us mere mortals, who freeze in not the best moment of our lives, but our worst. I'm sure there is a psychology to that somewhere, but being Irish, it is the little black cloud that seems most ... known.

There has been another adaptation of Great Expectations recently. One that stars Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes, released in 2012. Now, Gillian Anderson was excellent as Miss Havisham. She was tortured, haunted, and strongly manipulative. But Helena ... wow. She would be, in my estimation, a very scary Havisham. A cross between Bellatrix, of Harry Potter, and any other of her oddly formed characters. Or better yet: Lucy Honeychurch of Room with a View.  She may be a very Victorian whack-job. But I haven't been able to get my hands on that version. It's available, but the DVD is an English one, and it carries a warning that it may not play on players outside the UK? I don't know anything about that, but it is on my list.

Now young Booth is "Around Town" as he is starring a new version of Romeo and Juliet. I wasn't aware that one was needed, but he does seem very Romeo. I think it's in the lips, which are 'bee stung,' and the heavy brow that has a life of its own. I'm not as enamored with R&J as much as Great Expectations. Star crossed lovers? A feud? A mean mom who will make Juliet marry that old Paris? I think that there are plenty enough versions of it. It just isn't as interesting as the psychological play that goes on in the Havisham household. Psychological torture is always so much more interesting than physical. And Pip and Estella fall in love. Theirs is not a fleeting whim; rather, theirs is more than adolescent fantasy ... it's a bond that I don't envy, but it is enduring nonetheless.

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