Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The count of Monte Cristo, From then to now.

A tale of romance, fortune but most of all, revenge.

I love this tale, it’s a tale that have been told over and over on many different ways, but it’s still just as interesting.

A young man called Edmond Dante had everything, a beautiful fiancée who was the love of his life, a recent promotion to be one of the youngest captains ever in the fleet, and with such a thing can look forward to become an important man.

He is pure of heart and just loves his life as he is aware how lucky he is, but have it all taken from him as he very unknowingly gets mixed up in a plot regarding the Napolion wars, and all though he is a total innocent, the men with real power decides to get rid of him, and sends him to a cruel island prison never intending to release him again.

Of cause he eventually escapes, otherwise this would be a rather boring book, though first after 15 years. After he escapes he finds a treasure one of the other deceased prisoners told him about, and he uses the treasure to both in juice justice into the world, to become a man of power and takes on the alias of ”The Count of Monte Cristo” 20 full years after he was taken away, he finally comes back to his home town, now a very rich and powerful man and sees the life without him have cruelly continued.

His family died out, mostly from hunger. The power hungry noble who did him wrong is more powerful than ever, and his beloved fiancée married one of the men who betrayed Dante and have now a son who is 19 years old. (a bit quick there wasn’t she?)

Despaired by all these, Dante swear revenge upon all of them who have done him injustice, four specific people, and he takes them down one by one. Not by just killing them as they would make it far to easy on them, but by sheer cunning he makes them pay by making their former sins backfire upon them and either disgrace them and rob them of everything, send them to prison or just drive them utterly insane.

The book is awesome, actually it’s two books but they are just so well connected, for those of you have have read ”Watchmen” and know what a weird experience it is, yeah it’s kind of like that.

You read it through once and think ”yeah that was cool, though just a very strict forward dark action plot, I don’t see where the masterpiece bit comes in” then you remember something you kind of want to check up upon flap back in the book, then flap forward to see how it connects to flap back again to another character and you start to marvel how awesome it is written.

The book was written in 1844 by one Author Alexandre Dumas who also wrote "The Three Musketeers" The three Musketeers is probably the more known tale as it has been referenced in pop culture countless of times, the filmatations of that movie is probably far more known and influential than any Monte Cristo movie, and the old time phrase "all for one and one for all" is by all means, kind of immortal, but I personally prefer this book and story.

There are three films I guess could be counted as sort of major influence, but nothing regarding this franchise have ever really been able to catch on in pop culture.

The firs tone is the black and white, 1935 film.

What I haven addressed before is that all film released in the 30’s and 40’s. especially adventure films will be happy films, with a happy mood and a happy ending because at the time there was a war going on, and when people did go to cinema, it was to laugh and be happy, you simply did not make dark movies, and this is a movie where you can really sense that.

The count of Monte Cristo is a deep sad story, of a man who had been taken everything from him, and when he gains everything you could want again, he goes wrong about it by seeking revenge. In this movie we by default vouch for Dante, and nothing he can do is wrong, he also comes off as a very charming and sympathetic person, even at the last dilemma there is little doubt that he is doing the right thing.

The ending climax which all takes place in a courtroom is really cool, as he have been captured by the last of the men Dente swore to seek revenge on, the man exposed Dante barging out quite mad accusations we as an audience now is not true, while dragging Dante around, truly exposing him in a very uncomfortable way, only to have Dante turn the entire ship around and expose him back in the exact same way, only Dante is telling the truth, and have physical proof in form of documents and eyewitnesses to back him up.

The very last scene in the movie gotta be the cutest scene I have ever seen on film, I don’t know how the describe it, it’s just unbelievable cute.

The film from 1975 is my personal preference of these three movies.

It’s just the movie that makes the most sense to me, and is in my mind the one most well acted out and the least compromising regarding morale dilemmas. Incidental, it’s also the only film version where Dante does not get the girl in the end.

It is also the movie where I find Dante to be the most sympathetic and human in all of his actions, plus the actors transformation in the character is really impressive. He starts of as that very young innocent boy, and as he returns he is just cold as steal and have a very impressive authority all above him. You really got the feeling that you don’t want to run around corners with this man, all though, he is not right by default and through movie we see him sinking deeper and deeper into his own mistakes. Which at last causes the strong statement that the young boy which they took away 20 years ago really did die in that prison.

Then at last, the most recent 2002 film.

Well this is undoubtedly the best looking movie of the bunch, and I do always applaud when a movie in our new century have such a strong call back to the classic adventure swush buckling films, all though, this film is just okay, It was a moderate success and that I precisely what I think the movie deserves. Just a moderate success and a nice little call back. What bothers me is that it’s sometimes a to over the top, I like over the top, but this could seem a little forced.

Like the first time we see Dante as the Count of Monte Cristo, he makes an entrance in a air balloon to his own introduction party, in the 1975 he was simply standing around in the shadow talking with his old nemesis about something as unimportant as a bank account, untill he at last steps into the shadow and we realise how different he looks, that simple procedure felt much more epic than the giant air balloon.

His traps of revenge I also believe have been given to little screen time to allow a growing relationship between Dante and his former fiance’s son.

In the two other versions, the mere reason that he is her son is reason enough for Dante to protect him, and it doesn’t matter the boys father is Dantes enemy, because he is the son of the love of Dante's life, in this movie they keep elaborating to make it more.. plausible I guess. It’s unnecessary, I would much rather spend time on seeing the evil guys fall into the traps. and witness spin his spin of lies and well yeah, clever traps.

But it's still intelligent and a enjoyable adventure, the Dante is okay played, he may fall a bit short as the innocent sailor, but good thing we only see him for around ten minutes before he becomes the count which the actor nails.

The man who his fiancée ended up marrying is probably one of the greatest dicks in history, he is designed to be hated by everyone, which can both be great and bad depending on who is watching, I just say it makes his upcoming much more satisfying and as Dante is setting his traps, we can’t wait for the guy to get it.

All around, the count of Monte Cristo is one of does classic tales that pops up everywhere even though even the writers is not always aware of it, it can be a sub plot in a movie of a television series that reminds of the monte cristo plot, as you can put the idea into almost any setting.
It differently needs a more intelligent movie at some time, with some very clever and intelligent writers behind it, who understand how to create mystery and suspension without resorting to shock turn around and overly high fantasy romance, I love action and sword fighting, but it doesn't not go to well in hand with this story unfortunately.
I honestly have no idea if anyone would go on and make another Hollywood movie anytime to, they seems to be so busy with action and modern super heroes that no one wanna take adventure and swushbuckling up, which is a constant sadness to me.
I mean they could have, the last real Swushbuckling with did have was Pirates of the Caribbean, and to say that was a success would be an understatement. so It can seem a little odd no body picked up on that.

I always thought the idea of somebody being gone for a long amount of time, and then returns as another almost unrecognisable person, damn fascinating.

Just imagine walking around people you once knew and they have no idea who you are.

That is also probably why I love characters as ”Zorro” and ”The Scarlet Pimpernel” that much, they are people, walking among their enemies acting like fobs, and when the enemy talk right into their faces, they have no idea that they are in reality that great big and sort of dangerouse hero.

It’s an element, that despite masked hero movies is more popular than ever, is being avoided by Hollywood directors.. because they think it’s overused or something, I don’t get it, its’ the most awesome element in the masked hero genre, and the only reason why a hero should not tell the world about the secret identity, so we can have does fun scenes where the alter ego talks right up in his enemy’s face without the enemy knowing. Because that is sweet.

No comments:

Post a Comment