The Scarlet Letter movie  » Movies  »
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  • I believe many women in this world already look like her
  • In my opinion, the Director has the merit to focus the attention on the actors' ability to communicate with their bodies and eyes
  • I already noticed this peculiarity of hers in occasion of her performance in Ghost
  • I recommend this movie to enthusiasts of the romantic genre and to those who love psycologically intriguing characters

    • by Brus

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      This movie, directed by Roland Joffè, is based on the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

      In 1966, young, beautiful, intelligent and incredibly stubborn Hester Prynne (Demi Moore) arrives in Massachusetts Bay colony from England. She is married to Doctor Roger Prynne (Robert Duvall) who is supposed to reach her afterwards. Hester is a free spirit, she wants independence. That’s why she decides to settle down in a savage place away from the congregation. The community is spiritually guided by Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale (Gary Oldman) a very passionate theologist and preacher. When Hester and intriguing Reverend Arthur meet, the attraction is immediate and it grows from day to day. When the Lady comes to know that her husband has perished in a seastorm accident, the two can’t help surrending to their passion, but they must do it in secrecy since Hester, as a widow, must stick to the mourning rules that do not allow her to have another man.

      Things get worse when she finds out to be pregnant. This is an absolutely unacceptable circumstance that requires a severe punishment. Not only Hester is publicly humiliated and condemened to wear a scarlet “A” on her chest so that everybody can recognize her as an adulteress, but she is also sent to prison for not wanting to reveal who the father of her child is. After months of pain and despair for the two lovers, Hester gives birth to her baby daughter,

      Pearl, and is finally allowed to leave prison. But another storm is waiting to crash down on them: Doctor Prynne is alive and he is in town under false name. His only aim now is to discover the identity of Pearl’s father and make him and unfaithful Hester pay for what they did.

      This movie touches a few themes of historical interest, such as Puritanism, women conditions at that time, how they were often subject to summary judgements. I do not have enough knowledge about the topic to give a correct opinion about how valid is the projection of the historical scenario is. What I can say is that this movie is about passion and sin. The three main characters, Hester, Arthur and Roger are very powerful, each of them for different reasons. They are straight people who fall in the trap of sin and they have a massive impact on the viewer thank also to the impressive performances of the actors.

      I loved Hester who embodies the beauty, the desire of living the deepest passions completely, no matter what the consequences may be, the strength of fighting hard for the things she believes in, the persistence to bear physiical and psychological humiliation, because love is worth it. And she is wild, just like the place she chooses to settle down. A savage land with the ocean on one side and a thick forest on the other. An ocean that ...

      • can be bright and peaceful as well as rough and tumultuous, and the insidious and shady forest which can hide whatever secret in its deepest meanders. Her sin is following her passions unconditionally, rejecting every possible rule because love cannot have rules. I believe many women in this world already look like her. She could be a good example for certain women of our times….

        Reverend Arthur is a man who has only a certainty in life: God. He needs Him because He’s perfection, He’s rectirude, He is salvation, He is the one who can prevent men from falling into temtation and who can eventually put it right when men make mistakes. But he is basically a weak man: I would say kind of a hyprocrit:He loves Hester, that much is true, but he knows she is suffering in prison, he knows she is going through hell on earth to protect his reputation, but despite all this, he cannot find the strength to confess, only because Hester gave him the perfect alibi asking him to keep his mouth shut.

        Doctor Prynne is evil. He changes from a respectable man into a beast, driven only by anger and rage, ready to do anything in order to get what is, in his opinion, the only right conclusion of a dirt affair. Someone stole was his and he can’t bear the outrage of the betrayal. If he can’t have Hester, then nobody

        else will. In some ways he is passionate too, but his passion has turned to an irrepressible hate that blinds his eyes and makes him capable of neglecting any humanity left inside of him.

        In my opinion, the Director has the merit to focus the attention on the actors’ ability to communicate with their bodies and eyes. IDemi Moore, in particular, was great to this end. I already noticed this peculiarity of hers in occasion of her performance in “Ghost”.

        I also captured a few symbolisms in many of the scenes. I don’t know if it was a Director’s intention or if it is just the result of my personal perception.

        For example, I already mentioned the environment around Hester’s house.

        Then, I noticed that many scenes have a dark scenario where only a feeble light is shown. It may be a burning candle, a lamp or a small window. It made me think of a projection of the times, quite dark actually, where those lights may represent the hope of a future that could meet and brighten up the most profound desires of the characters.

        The rain also plays a role by falling down the deepest desperations. It is very intense the scene where Arthur cries and screams and hurts himself thinking about Hester’s suffering in prison.

        The plot is linear and it gives the right suspense.

        I recommend this movie to enthusiasts of the romantic genre and to those who love psycologically intriguing characters.

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