Movies reviews with matching food – eat, watch, enjoy
You can talk about the length of film, the drama, the shrill voices, the war but what is the true essence of this epic film? First you have to watch it through the eyes of an 1930’s citizen. It just looks tacky and over the top if you view it critically through modern eyes.
This is a love story. It could be classed as a lust story as, in the end, Scarlett realises that her love for Ashley was superficial at best. The war provides a backdrop to the real battle of the heart and mind in Scarlett herself. She is a firey so-and-so, who follows the whims of her heart through any means possible. She is a perfect match for the “cad” Rhett Butler who spends his time and money with prostitutes and in gambling dens. His heart reluctantly belongs to Miss Scarlett who denies him her heart until the end when she finally gives in to his charms.
This is a character driven epic. Interestingly, the women feature as the heroes and many of the men as weak (Ashley) and easily swayed by the flapping eyelids of a certain brunette. Scarlett is difficult to like. There are moments I felt sorry for her but in the end, she is a silly, vain, selfish girl. Even having experienced the horrors of war, she comes out of it basically the same. She doesn’t really care for anyone. All she really loves are a piece of land, money and attention. It is difficult to love a film when you don’t like the main character. Rhett is a little more loveable. Perhaps because he is so handsome and charming and honest. That smile, those eyes! “Great balls of fire”!!! Melanie is good, too good. The true star of the show is Mammy, the nanny, housekeeper. She is the one who knows all and sees all. She is wisdom personified, a true mother to Scarlett.
I would have to ‘gulp’ say that I found the story so-so. It just drags on and on and on. It’s a little irritating, especially when the characters are so frustrating. There’s tragedy after tragedy and I tried so hard to put on my 1930 glasses but surely they could have cut it at 2 hours instead of 3 hours and beyond.
Production-wise, it is impressive for the time. It is so nice to watch a film in colour. It is highly stylised but I loved the use of silhouettes, colours, shadows and smoke that were used to add drama. This film is presented like a play. A melodrama? My intermission took a day, a welcome break from the depressing action, I must say. The buildings are beautiful, as are the costumes. Those amazing large, hoopy skirts and the colours and patterns, yummy. Oh and the hats and the hair and the airs!
This is a true Oscar winner. Though I’m not a huge fan of the story itself, I appreciate it as a work of art. Looking back at the first film in Oscar Club, you can see the evolution of film technology and in the light of that, this film is impressive.
Gone With the Wind Trivia:
Well what a ride, a lumpy, bumpy, muddy ride. Next week, we are watching the Hitchcock thriller, Rebecca. And I’m a little bit scared. Goodbye peaceful sleep, hello nightmares. That Hitchy sure knew how to scare!