The Far From The Madding Crowd film is a remake, which is based on the Thomas Hardy novel. The film was released in the United States on May 22, 2015. It follows Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan), who is a very stubborn, independent rancher. In the beginning of the film, we’re introduced to Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), who owns a nearby farm. Gabriel is more of a shepherd. The pair wind up forming a fairly close relationship.
Despite Oak’s proposal, Bathsheba insists she is too independent for Gabriel and winds up refusing his offer. After his rejection, Gabriel loses all of his sheep, due to his poor trained dog. This sends him into the city, where he is nearly recruited into the army, by Sergeant Francis Troy (Tom Sturridge), who is set to marry Fanny Robbin (Juno Temple). While Gabriel’s life continues to worsen, Bathsheba learns of her uncle’s death and inherits his farm.
After refusing to join the army, Gabriel is told by Fanny about nearby work. Yep, you guessed it. He winds up working on Bathsheba’s farm. Bathsheba heads into to town and attempts to sell her grain, with Liddy (Jessica Barden). Of course, she is ignored, due to her gender. After a little pestering and with a little convincing, she convinces the businessmen to purchase her product. At the same time, she attracts the attention of William Boldwood (Michael Sheen), who actually owns neighboring land to Bathsheba’s ranch.
After a joke concocted by Liddy and Bathsheba, William Boldwood winds up believing he has received a Valentine from Bathsheba. After a little back and forth, William eventually proposes and attempts to marry him, but she refuses his advances. Meanwhile, Sergeant Francis Troy is finally set to marry Fanny, who ends up going to the wrong church and missing the entire thing. This throws Francis into chaos and Fanny into poverty.
With Bathsheba in disarray and Sergeant Francis Troy the same, they meet and their lives change forever. She makes the mistake of falling for the Sergeant and winds up marrying him. Of course, not all is said and done, as Francis nearly destroys the farm and reunited with Fanny. Chaos strikes and William Boldwood comes back into the picture once again. Yet again, he proposes. Gabriel Oak continues loyal throughout, but never makes a move towards romance again.
In order to avoid spoilers, I’ll stop there. So, how is the film? Well, the Far From The Madding Crowd reviews are correct on this one. There is a lot to like about the film in general. The acting from Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Tom Sturridge and Michael Sheen is great. Jessica Barden acts some cheer, although she appears very little. The scenery is great and definitely helps to set the overall mood of the story.
Despite this being a romantic period drama, the story isn’t overly predictable. Some of the aspects are though and the end fails to produce anything, but a cliche. The big and most significant problems are The Bathsheba Everdene character and her terrible decision making skills. Near the end, she starts to tinker on the edge of being unlikeable. Also, the realistic nature is somewhat questionable. It is hard to believe Sergeant Francis and Fanny would take so long to encounter one another again.
Also, I would hope William and Gabriel wouldn’t be so desperate. Overall, the film is good, but not great. I enjoyed it, although I started rooting against the final conclusion. It is definitely worth a watch though, especially if you like period dramas and romance. A 7.5 might be a little too high, but what the heck? Check it out today!