February 16, 2008

Review: Buccaneers

by Edith Wharton

A group of five marriagable young ladies invade London looking for prospects. As each one marries a man of rank and/or fortune she discovers that the high life is not as ideal as one would think.

I should never have watched the movie first. Really. It ruined the book for me. There was nothing wrong with the movie. To the contrary, I really liked the movie. It just was not like the book. It was better. Compared to the modern interpretation of the movie, the book seemed boring. I feel let down.

In the movie, the main character, Annabel St. George, is naive and idealistic. She enters into a marriage that is intolerable on so many levels. Her husband, a Duke, has many issues that are unthinkable and made my heart pound in anguish and disgust. She is portrayed as innocent, simply trying to preserve herself. But in the book she is just unhappy with her life. She feels all wrong in playing the part of a Duchess. I really disliked her. And so I felt some indignation at the ending.

Though the movie is modernized for shock value, I really prefered it to the book. Now that I think about it, this is exactly the way I felt about Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. The movie starring Frances O'Connor is full of modern shock value but I love it. The book pales in comparison.

I may decide at a later date to give the book another try but for now I will leave it at "disappointing," especially for a Wharton novel.


Carrie K said...

Oh no! I haven't seen the movie so I'll definitely be reading the book first.

I've only seen the Billie Piper version of Mansfield Park and that paled in comparison to the book. I'll have to rent the Frances O'Connor version although I'm usually not too happy with shock value for the sake of shock value.

Petunia said...

Carrie-I usually can't stand when a classic is modernized either. I was really surprised that I liked the Mansfield Park. It is very suggestive, which I usually can't stand. But I really liked O'Connor's character. She's not the real Fanny Price but a strong female character.

Carol said...

Another person who liked that Mansfield Park. :) I have to keep pretty quiet about it because purists don't like the things they "add" to the story (slavery, rape of slaves, etc.), but I thought the acting was excellent (liked O'Connor also).

Mansfield Park was my favorite Austen until this second read through in November. I didn't like it as well the second time around, and I am not sure why.

We have only seen the mini-series of The Buccaneers and didn't read the book. We really loved the mini-series. They took some license, but the acting was excellent. I loved seeing Greg Wise too!