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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Gone with Scarlett

I was watching "Scarlett" and I was feeling angry.

"Scarlett" is a sequel to Margaret Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind", but it was not from the same writer (of course, Mitchell was looooong gone before "Scarlett" was published. I think she would've flipped if she read the book). The book was published in 1991 and a television mini-series of the same name was out in 1994.

So last Sunday, Hallmark finally aired the series.

And in the words of Scarlett, Oh fiddle-dee!

It was really really bad.

I think somehow Alexandra Ripley (the writer) and the director of this series didn't really understand what "GWTW" was all about.

The original story was never really about the love story between Scarlett and Rhett. It was a story of the fall of chivalry - that the late 1800 Civil War was the mark of the end of one civilisation, where the slaves pickin cottons and the landlords makes charity balls and talks about the land. When it broke, the American south was so torned that it blurred the slaves from the masters. It was a civilisation gone with the wind. Get it? That's where the title got its meaning.

And in the midst of it all, there is Scarlett - the vivacious Southern lass who's so screwed up with her love for Ashley Wilkes and so adamant about getting back her precious Tara, that she would do just about anything (good or bad, which popularised the phrase "I swear I will never go hungry again"), and there is Rhett Butler - the rich jerk who had no intention to fight for the army, spends his days gambling and visiting hookers. Now, if you didn't watch the movie with interest, you might see a love story between a bitch and a player. Nnnnnnnno.

I love Scarlett. She stole her sister's boyfriend, she marries a dud to prove a point, she took care of Wilkes' wife even when she really hated her, she's just a fireball.

But in "Scarlett", not only I got bored because Timothy Dalton is soooo not Clark Gable and I seriously think  nobody can compete with Vivien Leigh in playing Scarlett (except maybe Kate Winslet... I thought of Nicole Kidman, but she's just too tall), it was dull from start till finish.

She keeps her pregnancy a secret, she slept with a Brit, she was captured for a murder she didn't commit... if you are obsessed enough with the character like I am, you would realise;
A) She is an opportunist. So Butler has divorced her. She won't do that 'hurt and move on'. She got pregnant, of course she would use that to get him back! This is the same girl who tries to make someone who doesn't love her jealous by marrying a nerd! Keeping a baby secret? FAIL!
B) She slept with a Brit? Scarlett O' Hara is manipulative yes, but she is no slut. She stole her sister's rich boyfriend because she knew if SuEllen married him, she would just mind her own business and wouldn't even care about Tara. So Scarlett stole him from her, knowing that if she can manage his business, she would have enough money to buy back their old home like she once promised paw. She's a screw up who is being selfish and yet not selfish. That's the beauty of that character. In "Scarlett", she's just a selfish screw up.
C) Captured for a murder she didn't commit? Please. That woman once buried a Yankee behind her house. And Ripley even got it all wrong about who pulled the trigger on that Yankee.

It's sad, really. Don't you ever try watch "Gone with the Wind" with me if you don't really understand it. It makes me mad....

"Oh Rhett, they kept screwing my personality!"
"I know, my dear. It's just I don't give a damn."


dairyibu said...

Finnaly met someone who is not foreigner that share same interest as me..hahha I understand dear..and mestila nobody can compete with clark gable and vivien..I watch GWTW movie..bought 3 of it actually.. and read Scarlet.. and I can't agree more with you.. How can they ruin Scarlett O'hara image and MORAL VALUE by making her a bitch? she is not one when she chase for Ashley (this WAS her first love la..ppl make stupid mistake with first love)and not one EVEN when Rhett divorce her..

Shai Kamarudin said...

Yay! Another GWTW fan! Adalah sangat susah nak jumpa GWTW fan kat Malaysia... huhuhu. (terharu la plak)Ahahah.
True dat. I have always been envious of Scarlett's character sbb dia sgt determined utk survive. It pains me to see her in such a ridiculous setting as she was in "Scarlett".