The Beguiled

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
A review on the movie "The Beguiled", which represents two visions on what is behind the plot.

Submitted: August 09, 2017

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Submitted: August 09, 2017



Vision 1 “Seemingly weak”

1331, 1864, or 2017… Years are changing but the woman stays the same in her essence: flowery, delicate, tender, refined, whereas fragile, assailable, sensitive, and almost rightless. Through centuries men have set the rules and played their boyish games of killing, crippling and mutilating in fight for the power. Women are left with submission and obedience. They keep building a life in a calm and peaceful way, almost to the point of exhaustion, in acquiescence with what men call “protection of ideas and freedom”.

Yet, woman remains woman. Despite the horrors of the war, streams of black smoke lifting up and unstoppable barks of canons and guns, Miss Farnsworth and her girls save their ladylike manners in whatever they are doing – playing music, having dinner, studying or plowing the garden. She looks much tired. But what a posture she keeps when she is drinking brandy; all weary she is sitting upright, not revealing her genuine feelings of unbearable exhaustion. The contrast with the cowardly corporal who left the battlefield is obvious. She doesn’t hesitate when she has to wash the wound, put the stitches and even cut off a limb, when it is a matter of life and death. At night alone and armless she dare face the visitors who might have appeared the enemy. Motherly and overprotective, she defenses the complete stranger, saving his life and not turning him over to the Confederate troops, until her feminine instinct senses the risk and she realizes it is the time to fight against the rescued one. In an instant, the man’s aggression and fear turn her into a witch. The man doesn’t suspect that he signs it the very moment he endangers the lives of the girls. A woman with a gun is dangerous.

A woman with no weapon in her hands in deadly.

Vision 2 “I am a witchy bitchy, if not mine, then no others' ” 

We enjoy the view of a bunch of women who appear to have been deprived of all the males, as well as slaves, in the household. They all are different in character, appearance and age, yet tired of the routine, war and enforced isolation. They all are in their prime time for love and dance and flourish, yet have to carry out labour work and follow the established rules of the school. And here he appears - a handsome man, a soldier, a wounded one. The compassion is at full swing, as much as the longing for care and the touch. Their repressed and contorted desire is set unleashed, and intensifies as corporal McBurney gets back to normal life and starts working in the garden. He is no angel at all. An Irish soldier who joined the Union ranks for money; now a deserter, he is terrified of being caught and shot by either side. He possesses many attributes of a human, too cunning, and sly, cowardly and vulnerable. McBurney inevitably starts trifling with the attentions of different young women. Thus he triggers something more dangerous than the court martial. As if stirring a beehive, he wakes up the jealous rivalry between the females. A neglected woman is a deadly weapon in herself. In a matter of a second, her world is turned inside out, and the battle, which is far more dangerous than all the canons, guns, rifles and nuclear weapon collected all together, begins. She is the only one who rules the destiny of the poor man, pulling the strings of the puppet in her last show. She will never forgive or forget being sexually neglected for the sake of another woman. A collective female sexual nervous breakdown is hundreds time more mortal than stings of thousands of bees or shots of a hundred of guns. A handful of skillfully-cooked poisonous mushrooms is all she needs to wreak revenge on him for his natural weakness. 

Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman, who put the idea to life and star in this watchable film, are in one of their best roles, in my humble opinion. True to life characters are not new for Nicole. What I would like to compliment in the movie is her tremendous looks and elegancy. As for Colin, he is so natural, playing “I am a human, nothing human is alien to me”, looks very trustworthy and sets the right tone right from the outset of the film.



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