Wednesday, March 6, 2013
I watched the BBC production Parade's End which aired on HBO last week. I really liked it, although some viewers thought it was disjointed and hard to understand. Described by The Globe and Mail as "Downton Abbey on acid- or at least very drunk", this adaptation of the Parade's End tetralogy of novels by Ford Madox Ford takes place during the same time period as Downton Abbey and deals with the upper classes, but there the comparison ends.
Lead character Christopher Tietjens (Benedict Cumberbatch from Sherlock and War Horse) is a buttoned up Englishman worthy of an intensive psychological study as is his more than slightly frighteningly manipulative wife Sylvia (played marvelously by Rebecca Hall from Vicky Christina Barcelona). I will only say that if you enjoy a thought provoking and many layered story, gorgeously filmed then this is likely for you. But I'll warn you that by the time Tietjens is in the trenches in France, I was feeling his angst. It rather put me in a funk, and yet I am so glad I watched it.
Well, I will leave it at that. I am not sure whether I will read the books now or not. I probably will, but the middle of a grey Canadian winter may not be the best time to tackle this heavy tetralogy of English literature. I think I may just stay on my mission to read every Georgette Heyer novel still in print. That will take me a while! And it will keep my spirits up until I see the first bulbs bloom outside my front door.
If you want a little more detail, the link to my previous post on Parade's End is here.