I just watched "Far From the Madding Crowd" and I´m a little bit at a loss here. I haven´t read the book, so I´m not quite sure if it is clearer in the book, but what is the message that Thomas Hardy wants to tell with this story?
So, Bathsheba Everdeen (I will just call her B. from now on) meets Gabriel Oak, a young shepherd. This is Gabriel, btw:
All of a sudden he proposes to B. and B., proud and indepent as she is, refuses his proposal. Mind, this happens in the first five minutes of the movie!
B. inherits the farm of her late uncle and as fate wants it, Gabriel gets to work under B. on her farm. There is clearly some attraction between those two, but B. being rich and Gabriel being an employee of hers makes a relationship impossible.
Along comes the next suitor, Mr. Boldwood:
So he wants to marry her, but B. refuses again. Just to fall in love with this douchebag here:
Yes, so she marries this guy because of the pheromones or whatever (I don´t get why she is marrying him. He is the most unattractive guy ever, at least in my book). Turns out the marriage is utter crap.
In the meantime there is a lot of drama going on, douchebag is supposedly dead and Mr. Boldwood is one of the psychotic type. Way to go B. for not marrying him!
And then the movie ends:
Don´t get me wrong, the ending was absolute fantastic and swoon worthy. But I don´t get the point of the story, at least while watching the movie. So B. is settling with the guy, who proposed to her in the first place. Why all that drama? And then such contrived drama. So Gabriel and B. do not have the same social status, but at the end of the movie this doesn´t seem to be a problem (and they don´t even talk about it). And my guess is, that Hardy´s story is supposed to be seen as a social commentary on this particular agenda.
The movie certainly didn´t give me sufficient knowledge of the characters and their motivations to act the way that they do. And now I´m curious if the novel is better in that regard. Because if it isn´t, I will never, ever read a novel by Thomas Hardy whatsoever. I´m totally not up for that much drama.