Quickly! Must post!
I’m posting this in between classes. I have half an hour! Hence the possible poor quality of the review and the multiple grammatical/typo mistakes…
Last night, I stayed up late to watch the film adaptation of Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle.
It was at around 11:30pm when I started watching it. It was around 2AM when I went to sleep!
It was so hard to stifle my giggles – though I suspect my roommates aren’t so peeved since I saw lights under their doors, too.
Set in the 1930s, Cassandra Mortmain and her family of eccentrics arrive at an old castle, where their father will hopefully be able to write a masterpiece. After 12 years of nothing published, everyone is desperate, especially Cassandra’s sister Rose, who dreams of a better life, of luxuries and love. Cassandra herself vows that she’ll never fall in love. When the landlord americans of their castle arrive, however, her entire life and that of her family whirl completely our of control. Result: lots of giggling moments, lots of touching moments, lots of sad moments, all taking place on a beautiful English Countryside, castle in no-man’s land kind of backdrop.
Cassandra is played by Romola Garai, who I thought played the role to a tee. At least, based on what I remember of the book (I must re-read it!). She was innocent and loyal and helpful and a total romantic, despite being afraid of falling in love.
Rose is played by Rose Byrne. I don’t remember much about Rose from the book, except that she must’ve been very pretty and playful. Despite having forgotten accurately how Rose was like, I love the Rose in the movie. Her character dripped with dramatic flair. Her costume bubbled with eccentricity. It altogether made for some snort-worthy scenes.
Henry Thomas plays Simon Cotton, with the sweet face and the romantic goo-goo eyes. I remember him from Legends of the Fall. And, Marc Blucas plays Neil.
The cinematography was…beautiful, just so picturesque. The music, by Dario Marianelli, was beautiful and subtle and haunting.
There are so many little things that I loved about the movie, and I’m all about the little things sometimes. Like the talk of inheriting a portion of their Aunt’s inheritance, which makes everyone look at the dilapidated wardrobe in the corner of the bedroom. After a moment, Cassie quips, “I hope it’s the door.”
Or having the rich folks over to dinner at the old castle. There is no food, no proper tableware, not even a proper table. Father basically says, “We’ve got doors we can unhinge, don’t we?”
I’m pretty sure I got some tea up my nose during those moments. But, to be fair, if I could’ve hollered healthily at those scenes, such dangerous incidents wouldn’t have happened. But it was midnight. On a school night. Hence the slow suffering snickering.
There are some spoilers after this!
The first scene caught me. Imagine driving up a windy road by a sparkling bay, and there, in the middle of an undulating grass field: an old dilapidated castle that will be your home. It was quite dramatic – the lone tower sticking out, looking haunting and peculiar.
When we meet seventeen year old Cassandra, she’s writing in her diary/journal, and all around her is the usual family havoc: step-mum Topaz, sister Rose and brother (whose name I can’t remember!!??) working with some green scouring powder (?) in the middle of a medieval-like setting. That scene was so lovely and eccentric and funny-worthy. In the middle of this day-to-day normal eccentricity, Cassandra is day-dreaming, and she thinks, “I am never going to fall in love. Life is dangerous enough.”
Then there’s the scene where the two Cotton brothers arrive, and in the rain storm, trying to free herself from constraints of all sorts, is Topaz, naked and exposed to the weather like a mad woman. And when the men arrive into the castle, Cassandra is stark naked as well, in her tub, eating chocolate. And, I don’t remember why, but Rose enters with grand flair, tottering down the stairs like a drunkard. Everyone is so innocent to how crazy they look to these Americans, of which this is probably their first taste of life in England. But, they took it all in stride well enough, with a few moments of awkwardness from the brothers that were misread to be as a result to an electric attraction to Rose.
My favourite scene, and it was around midnight when I choked on my tea, was when Rose and Cassie went to pick up the fur coats from their recently deceased Aunt. They were discussing how hideous the furs looked: Rose’s was bear and Cassie’s was monkey.
On the train ride back, well, by some utterly hilarious coincidence and misunderstanding, the two girls become the prey of a hunting party, mistaken for bears… in England. They caused such a whistle blowing ruckus, and to the mortification of the girls, somehow inspired the hunting instincts of one of the two brothers who immediately launches into a story about the feats of bear hunting.
Okay, got to run. But look – I even put pretty pictures in!