The novels of Alexander Dumas are favorites of lots of generations of readers because of his remarkable characters, tangled stories and dynamic plots. One of them, “The Count of Monte Cristo” was finished in 1844. Given its brilliant story about love and vengeance in the 18th century, the book was brought to life for the very first time in 1934 by director Rowland V Lee and skilled actors Robert Donat, Elissa Landi and Sidney Blackmer. Nevertheless, would it be worth it to do second film based upon the very same book? Joe Leydon from Range thinks so.
He specifies his certainty in the director of the remake, Kevin Reynolds who “proves to be totally on top of his video game, instilling the grandly melodramatic permutations of the plot with company conviction and stylish gusto” (Leydon). The old movie from 1934 was offered a fresh, brand-new, engaging production in 2003 filled with a great deal of breathtaking, distinctively visualized action scenes. The plot in both films is naturally no different.
The peaceful life of Edmond Dantes, a twenty years old sailor on the “Pharaoh” ship, who plans to wed the beautiful Mercedes, is shattered when his friend Fernand wishes the beautiful Mercedes for himself. 3 other people want to damage Dantes for various factors. Danglars is an accountant of the “Pharaoh” and fears that if Dantes ends up being Capitan, he will lose his job since Dantes notifications his abuses; young assistant prosecutor De Villefort is afraid that his daddy’s connections with the dethroned Napoleon may be exposed, and the neighbor of Edmond’s dad is envious of his success. On the eve of Mercedes’s and Edmond’s wedding, Dantes is slandered and implicated of being a Bonapartist. He is sent out to the d’If castle, a jail fortress not far from Marseilles, without a chance to object his sentence. Dantes is notified that he will stay forever in prison. He tries suicide, but he is suddenly saved by the appearance of another detainee– Abbe Faria, who for many years has actually dug tunnels and attempted to escape, but due to incorrect calculations has actually ended up in Dantes’s cell.
The two misfortunates quickly become good friends. Abbe Faria is a highly educated specific and discovers who sent out Edmond into d’If castle and what their motives were. At that minute, he unwittingly planted the seeds of vengeance in Dantes. For six months, Abbe helps to inform Edmond in English, German and Spanish and presents him to math, physics, history and viewpoint. After a year of preparing their escape, Dantes and Abbe began to dig the tunnel to freedom. Sadly, incurable health problem stalls Abbe from fulfilling their plan. Anticipating his death, the abbot exposes to Edmond his secret treasure concealed on the island of Monte Cristo. When the abbot passes away, Dantes takes his place in a body bag and is tossed into the sea rather of the dead Abbe Faria. It boggles the mind he endured.
After amazingly managing to escape, he ends up being the very wealthy and strange Count of Monte Cristo, develops himself amongst the French nobility and competent strategies his revenge on everybody who stabbed him in the back. He is overwhelmed by the desire to find and assassinate his enemies, specifically Fernand Mondego who wed his fiancée and had a kid with her. The story of vengeance is long, loaded with action and unexpected plot turns. The Count slips past the enemies and discovers their devastating tricks which help him in designing their suffering deaths. The Count of Monte Cristo initially wins the trust of his bane’s and manages to get near them to discover their weaknesses, which will be the reason for their ultimate death. Up until the eleventh hour of their life none recognizes the source of their troubles. The change of the uneducated, naïve and kind sailor Edmont Dantes into the smart, aristocrat with a desire for vengeance is interesting.
The star, Jim Caviezel, utilizes all aspects of acting– mimics, gesture, voice, eyes– to describe the improvement. His eyes seem to be the most prominent quality of his character. The efficiency of Jim Caviezel is so capturing it looks like one of the most famous characters in the history of movie– Al Pacino in “The Godfather”. As hard as somebody tries to find flaws in the film, they can not. The direction of Kevin Reynolds is at a very high level without having to use flashy or inexpensive effects. He understands where to stop a scene, what to do with it, and constantly chooses the most proper angle in order to engage viewers in the moment. An example of this is the extremely first scene in the film. Second mate Dantes and ship representative Mondego are aboard a boat to Elba, the island to which Napoleon was eradicated and secured. Edmont and Fernand get on coast to seek medical materials for their dying captain. Upon seeing them, the British horsemen first assume Edmont and Fernand are here to complimentary Napoleon. An action scene begins as the British open fire at the 2 sailors from the “Pharaoh” ship.
The guards have no intent of listening to or thinking what Edmont tries to tell them (that they only look for medical support). The distinct element in “The Count of Monte Cristo” is the electronic camera position and rotation which is made use of in the very first scene. The shooting is done from above, thus exposing the audience to whole field on which Edmont and Fernand battle the British soldiers. The cam rotates around the stars and zooms in on their faces to display the facial expressions as they fight. Dim light from the moon shows in their sweaty faces. Prior to we know it, the camera takes us back in the air once again, and we can see more British soldiers quickly approaching in the far range. Besides from above, electronic cameras are also filming from listed below (the moment when Napoleon appears). This constant rotation from above to listed below includes the audiences in the scene. We are entirely knowledgeable about the area of each character in the minute.
After Napoleon “conserves” our brave character seeking aid for their dying captain, the previous Emperor of France escorts them to the physician. At which point they enter his cabin and we discover the second unique visual aspect in the movie– darkness. Almost half of the motion picture is filmed in the dark and generally the only light supplied is by the Moon’s reflection (outside scenes) and candles (indoor scenes). This visual aspect assists the audience experience what lighting may have been like during the Renaissance period. About one 4th of the movie takes place in the ghastly chateau d’If which is the outright perfect example of how to utilize virtual darkness in scenes. With Dantes’s arrival in d’If castle, we are teleported to his brand-new “home” for the next 16 years, filled just with darkness and horrid whippings. What do we consider when we hear the word “darkness”? Worry, death, torment? This is precisely what the director wants us to feel when we are seeing scenes from d’If castle.
Fear– from the annual pounding they provide all innocent detainees. Death– that eventually comes either from starvation or suicide. Anguish– being exposed to just a small window of light and one meal a day. Another obvious visual component in “The Count of Monte Cristo” is using the blur result. The director frequently blurs the background to set more concentrate on what’s happening in the scene. We see this visual aspect throughout the entire film, primarily during dialog accompanied with a close up on the characters faces for example, the scene of Mercedes and Edmont speaking by the rocks. The video camera is concentrated on their faces when we see Fernand approaching from the range. Seconds later, the focus is changed to Fernand as Mercedes and Edmont are blurred to the audiences. When Edmont shares the news of his promo we can see the jealousy and disappointment on Fernand’s face. Speaking of characters deals with, the film likewise concentrates on the representation of characters’ eyes.
The clearest example of this would be the supper scene at Fernand and Mercedes’s mansion for their child Albert’s birthday. After saving the youngsters life, Count Monte Cristo was invited to the Mondego residence for Albert’s birthday celebration. Throughout the entire evening, Monte Cristo and Mercedes exchange looks as the Countess Montego starts recognizing the love of her life, Edmont Dantes, in the brand-new French aristocrat. They exchange expressions, looks, smiles which reveal to us what the characters are thinking. Such details make “The Count of Monte Cristo” a “lavishly mounted and appealingly old-fashioned swashbuckler” (Leydon). The reviewer of “The Count of Monte Cristo” on Range– John Leydon– offers a great summary of the motion picture. He discusses the actors, plot and instructions without going in depth on a particular subject or praising/ slamming the movie in excess. Those are the exact qualities of an excellent film evaluation.
This raises a burning question– who can write a film evaluation? In the post “Movie criticism in the age of the Web” the editors of Cineaste recommend “it often seems that everyone is a critic” (Cineaste), and we can all agree with that. Nowadays, people can view, comment and write anything on the internet. Anyone can register on a blog or online forum and begin writing evaluations of movies. It doesn’t even matter how great their writing is or what position they takes due to the fact that today “everybody’s a critic” (Cineaste). The expression “quality over quantity” can rather properly use here. There are a growing number of film customers on the Web, to whom Cineaste describes as “novices” (Cineaste), “berserk teenagers” (Cineaste) or typically– modern film critics. Tobias Grey’s thoughts on this brand-new age of criticism in his article “Discussing movie criticism” is that “contemporary movie criticism is far too subjective and not almost analytical adequate” (Grey) in addition– “criticism is considered to be dead, film criticism particularly so.” (Jesse Walker).
While this might appear bad, I like the fact that if you do not delight in a particular film, you’re not always a bad reviewer or an individual without any taste in movie because “you have a soulmate in the online world, and he posted his ideas (which are identical to yours) on a now-defunct interactive Website” (Walker). So, what does all of this inform us? The large quantity of movie criticism on the Web kills the real significance of quality level film criticism, however it exposes us to more authors’ thoughts and opinions. The editors in Cineaste express their hope that “excellent criticism will predominate over bad in both publications and the Web– and that increased quotes for corporate and government control of cyberspace will not muffle, or silence, the many vibrant online voices (a few of whom are represented in our symposium) that have currently changed the face of contemporary film criticism.”
“The Count of Monte Cristo” is a capturing and fascinating movie. The classical romance in the 1800’s intrigues the audience and the action grabs your attention. It is a preferred movie for individuals of any ages since it reveals human qualities that last forever such as greed, desire for vengeance, love and more. Examining the movie as art I paid more attention to the cam motion and lens zoom which made me realize how great the movie really is. The director communicates with us through visual language and the characters reveal their ideas through their facial expressions.
A close up on the primary character’s struggling face or shaking eyeballs can inform us a lot more than dialog. I like “The Count of Monte Cristo” for the unique attention to details. They connect us with to film and we experience it in a various way. Such small information might look like not a huge deal if you view the movie for its story, however if you focus and see the film as art you ‘d see there is a lot more than dialog and action scenes to “The Count of Monte Cristo”.
“Film criticism in the age of the Web.” Cineaste Fall 2008: 1. General Reference Center GOLD. Web. 6 Dec. 2011.
Grey, Tobias. “Discussing movie criticism: Europeans share opinions on the photos they evaluate and likewise on the certifications for being a well-rounded critic.” Variety 29 Oct. 2007: A2+. General Referral Center GOLD. Web. 6 Dec. 2011.
Leydon, Joe. “The Count of Monte Cristo.” Range. n. pag. Web. 24 Jan 2002. Walker, Jesse. “Everybody’s a critic: Do not shed any tears for
cinephilia.” Factor June 2002: 62. General Recommendation Center GOLD. Web. 6 Dec. 2011.