Update on Books and Films!

As I haven’t posted for a while, there’s a few things I wanted to do posts on but never got round to doing so this post is basically just going to be a mash up of a few of those things because it has been too long for me to want to do a separate post for each of these.

First up was the film ‘In Time’ which was pretty cool, I loved the acting and how action packed it was and then of course the universe as a whole because the idea behind that was just amazing. Essentially, the world operates on a system of using time as currency, so if you want to buy something, you have to spend time meaning your life will be shorter. the plot then follows a guy who is poor, living his life day to day until he meets a man who has an insane amount of time and feeling that he has lived too long, transfers all his time over to Will (the main character) who then makes it his cause to destroy the system. It’s a few years old now I think but it was a good film and I’d say you should watch it is you are into any sort of action films or dystopian films as it’s not necessarily as corrupt as lots of dystopians but still pretty cool to see and the main character are great together and are played by Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried.

The next one I wanted to talk about was a film called ‘Trishna’ which I first heard about from a comment on this post; https://emlinian.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/tess-of-the-durbervilles-thomas-hardy/ as the film is an adaption of ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ by Thomas Hardy. I loved the book but this film adaption was totally not for me which was disappointing as I thought it looked good but I felt they changed too much and so because of that it just wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be. Trishna, the film’s version of Tess (as the film is an Indian adaption) was nothing like the original character of Tess and so in that I felt like a lot of the main points of the story just weren’t there. I admit that not all of the film was bad, there were good parts in there, but I didn’t feel like Trisha fit the story and that the settings and other characters didn’t really work. Alec and Angel were one character rather than two separate ones and although they are pretty similar in some ways, the differences there are important too as this adaption made it seem like Trishna loved him whereas Tess never loves Alec, only Angel and that is why it is important that she can’t get away from him. I might have missed some message within it, I don’t know, but that for me didn’t work, I did still hate Jay (Alec/Angel) though so at least that was still there.

In terms of books, I’ve read ‘The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass’ which was good. It’s the story of a slave called Frederick Douglass, written by himself after his escape and is seriously interesting. I loved his style as it just flowed easily in most parts which lots of older books don’t and that really annoys me and so is really impressive for a man who pretty much taught himself to write. You know from the start that he escapes as he is obviously writing the book and it says a bit about the life he is living after his escape in the introduction. There’s not really much else that I can think to say about it, it’s a book written by a slave about his time in slavery, you know just from that what it will be like. It’s not as harsh as it sounds though, despite the horrible things that happen in the book, his narrative is soft in a way which is really nice. I’d recommend this one to anyone who is interested in America in general just as it tells you a lot about the history and culture. But more than that I’d recommend it to anyone who likes a book that will make you feel. I don’t think I cried at it but the story does make you feel a lot of things. Basically I just thought it was great.

Next up I read ‘The Epic of Gilgamesh’ which is a very old text, I mean old as in it was written before the bible so I found it very hard to get into and I can’t say it was easy to understand all the stuff about the Gods as I have never known much about mythology. It was kind of interesting as it followed a king named Gilgamesh who was said to be part God and he does a load of heroic acts which aren’t really that heroic but still impressive. I thought it was okay but wouldn’t say you should read it unless you are really into history, the bible (it talks about the flood and Noah only in slightly different terms), or mythology.

I think I will put the other things either in a second wrap up post or do separate posts for each of them, but, in either way, I’ll see you soon!

Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Alec Vs Angel

So I heard the argument a few times on who people thought was nicer out of these two characters and thought I would do a post on it to say what i thought. Obviously it’s not some big important message but it’s still pretty interesting as the opinion I seem to have heard the most was that people actually thought Angel was worse than Alec which I completely disagree with. The storylines following these two characters is that Tess goes to work for Alec during which time he rapes her, she then leaves only to have his child, after the baby’s death she goes to work elsewhere and meets Angel who she falls in love with and marries. The problem people have with Angel is that after they marry he tells her he actually slept with someone before, and in that moment, believing she was safe to, she told him her tale and he left her. He stays away for a long time in which she meets Alec again, now a repenting christian, and yet this doesn’t last long as he soon falls for her again and somehow persuades her to ‘marry’ him. Later on Angel comes back and so Tess murders Alec in order to be with Angel who accepts her despite this and they go together.

There is more to the story than this and of course there is loads of description and stuff around it but this is the general idea to it. My thoughts are that although neither are obviously good characters, Angel is by far the better as he does actually love Tess while Alec seems to just want her as a possession. Yes, Angel leaves her even when none of it was her fault and he had done the same, but he really did not mean to hurt her, where as Alec often actually seems to enjoy hurting Tess, at the end pushing her right to her limits. The thing that most people hate about Tess and criticise her for is her passivity, where as due to being me, as I kind of think i am like her in this respect, I feel less hate towards it. It does contribute to her downfall, but it’s how she is, and so I can’t truly blame that, she is just naive and sweet with no idea of all these things. Tess being passive is bad because of the way in which the others take advantage of this, obviously Alec especially, which is why I just cannot understand the viewpoint of how Alec can be a better person than Angel.

The idea from what I’ve heard is that people don’t mind Alec because he is at least honest and straight forward with how he acts and feels, he admits he is bad and just leaves it out as a fact where as in Angel you don’t exactly expect it when he isn’t all that great. Essentially I love poor little Tess and can understand her love for Angel and how he feels about her being impure (although I don’t agree with it) where as Alec has no remorse and no redeeming traits, at least to me.

So, what do you think? Would love to hear in comments!

‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ – Thomas Hardy

I finished this book literally less than a minute ago and I absolutely loved it which really surprised me. The majority of what I read and what are my favourites are modern young adult books but for some reason this book really captured my attention somewhere along the way. Tess was a wonderfully designed character with so much that I could relate to, not that I have ever been through any of the terrible things she goes through but by how she looks upon things and so that for me was really good. Also, the other characters were also really interesting, by which I mean Angel and Alec as both have major parts within the novel and were the cause of nearly all of the emotional parts.

The actual story was also incredible, I loved the flow of it; the way it went from highs to lows, from cliffhanger to cliffhanger, something that you don’t get in many books now as they are published all at one so only need one real climax where Tess was published through small installments. It’s the kind of book where you know from the start it is not going to be the happiest of stories, with so much foreshadowed and hinted at that it sets the later events up so well. I already knew many of the main points of the story before reading it and if you don’t have any idea of what is to come it may be a bit harder to get really into the story as Hardy tends to go off on description a lot which could put you off. However when you are really immersed in the story it is amazing, the description to many people I know is something hated but I love it as it made the whole thing more real and i was constantly on edge, especially at the end, wanting to know exactly how the dreadful situations the characters are put in would end.

My favourite part was probably where Tess told Angel of her past purely because this is one of the lowest points for Tess and leads to so much that happens later on, so for me was one of the saddest and most impactful parts of the novel. My favourite line however was ‘Because what’s the use of learning that I am one of a long row only – finding out that there is set down in some old book somebody just like me, and to know that I shall only act her part’ as it really shows the fragility of Tess and the very hopelessness of her situation as she is fated to follow a certain path.