April 16, 2011

The CP & TW

"Read Me" by ImaginaryAn*
The BBC has been showing Michael Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White. I read half of the book, in 2004 when I was procrastinating between university assignments. Eventually, the need to finish the assignments became too great, and so the book was forgotten and to this day remains un-finished. When the series started getting advertised, I’ll admit, I was excited. I love period drama’s and I figured this a way of finishing the book, so to speak.

Problem One.
846 pages needing to be condensed into four, one hours episodes.

Problem Two.
Poor, poor, casting.

Romola Garai as Sugar is acceptable however, a little predictable, and a little to calm in the role. The character in the book is quite calm, but there seems to be little passion. The book Sugar writes, about murdering her clients fails to elicit any real response as well. There is nothing really shocking. It is what it is.

Romola Garai
William Rackham, played by Chris O’Dowd is out of his depth with the role. The role requires someone charismatic and a little bit creepy, which O’Dowd does not embody this. His mode of speaking means you pay too much attention to his lisp over what he is saying.
Chris O'Dowd
Shirley Henderson as Mrs Fox, is a joy, but her quirkiness always brings out something more in a show.
Shirley Henderson
Mark Gatsiss as Henry Racham, brother of William, should, I hate to say it, continue in what he is good at; writing. I would prefer to watch new episodes of Sherlock Holmes. Henry’s death scene, in the second episode is visually terrible. It makes me wonder at the budget of the production, that they could not effectively set a dummy alight. Poor, poor CGI.
Mark Gatsiss
Amanda Hale, who I have not before encountered, is a delight as Mrs Agnes Rackham. She’s slowly losing her mind because of the abuse being inflicted on her by Dr Fox, played by Richard E. Grant.
Amanda Hale
Too much of the story seems to have been lost in the translation from book to television. I feel as though I have been forced into a relationship with these characters after 2 hours, when, within the book you are nearly half way through the 846 pages before you have decided if you like them of not.

To put it simply, I do not care for the characters in this version. I do not care if they have a happy ending of if they all die slow and painfully. I will not be watching the rest of the series, I want to enjoy what I cannot remember and what I do not know about the ending. I will get the book, and enjoy the literature.

The whole endeavour has not been wasted though. I have found a poem by Tennyson that until now I have never read and cannot believe it so. The following poem is one of the most beautiful I have ever read and want to share it with you now.

Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;

Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font:
The firefly wakens: waken thou with me.

Now droops the milkwhite peacock like a ghost,
And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.

Now lies the Earth all Danae to the stars,
And all thy heart lies open unto me.

Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves
A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.

Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake:

So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom and be lost in me.
-- Tennyson


No comments:

Post a Comment