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BBC War and Peace - Ep 4 comments [Jan. 27th, 2016|10:41 pm]
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My Anatole/Natasha rant will go first because agrhhhh. This was one of my favorite parts of the book, it’s such an engaging story within a story. The thing is, I could write an entire meta post on this all of its own but since I’ve already talked some about this and because I don’t have the emotional energy right now, I’ll try to keep this brief.


Fuck you, BBC. Fuck you so much. Well, at the least, there was no weird revenge plot like in the 2007 adaptation. But, as always, this adaptation misses all the finer points and treats the plot like it’s a train late to Philly. They treat plot points and character moments and scenes like items on a checklist that need to be checked off. So, yes, pacing (so much rushing) is a huge problem. The other issue, of course, is the lack of chemistry between Callum and Lily. Now, that kind of thing can’t always be helped, but I’d imagine that when you know that you have an intense romance in your show, one that hinges so much on chemistry and passion and lust, you and your casting director would try damn hard to see if your prospective actors have some chemistry to make that work. But that’s a lot to ask of any adaptation, I know. Not to mention this one.

Secondly. I can see why people are getting “creeper” feels. The lighting and the music score. Dear God, BBC, do you even understand the actual mood that’s supposed to be happening here? Yes, it’s intense and both of these characters have lost their heads but there is a fucking difference between “head over heels in lust” and…whatever you were going for. The cloak room scene could have worked ok if you’d just given it a different lighting and a different soundtrack. Oh and maybe helped Callum out here as far as how this scene is supposed to be played? Anatole is not self-congratulatory in that scene at all. At this point he’s quite desperate. “One word. Please, just one.”

Also, the fact that we don’t understand Anatole’s intentions here is not helping. And all they had to do is stop trying to re-write canon scenes and actually use the actual scenes in the book, which even the 2007 adaptation, which had 5 million issues of its own, managed to do. You know, the scene before the elopement where Dolokhov tries desperately to reason with Anatole and talk him out of going? Where he tells him that he could be tried for bigamy if he tries to marry Natasha. When he head-on asks Anatole what he’s gonna do when the money runs out. And Anatole tells him to shut it because he just has to be with her and all else be damned.

You know why that scenes is fantastic and important? Because it parallels Natasha’s scene with Sonya. Sonya and Dolokhov are the reasonable ones, the ones that see what a terrible idea this is, the ones that point out all the problems with this crazy romance. And neither Natasha nor Anatole want to listen. They are drawn together by the irresistible chemistry which they have, in their foolishness, mistaken for love and are now trying to put into motion a hasty and ill-advised plan to be together, overlooking all the warning signs, because they are both impulsive, emotional little fools. They are the same. Their feelings are the same. Their reactions are the same. Anatole isn’t doing this because he’s a creepy seducer like Pechorin or because he’s bored like Onegin or Valmont. He’s doing this because he’s crazy about her.

Also, OMG, BBC. Yea, throw in that thing about the Polish girl and frame it as though Natasha is Polish Girl 2.0 even though we don’t know anything about what happened in that situation. Oh, wait, actually we do: that was a marriage Anatole was forced into. But, yea, let’s leave that out, sure. /sarcasm

The one thing that made me smile in all of that was this: “Was your intention to ruin her?”/”I love her.”

Oh look…I managed to write a ton anyway. *sigh* Quick aside before moving on: If I’m not totally imagining things, that letter from Anatole is in Russian. Which is cute, but he totally would have written to her in French :p (When I manage to get my hands on a more high-quality video I’m going to try and see if I can make out the writing/translate it. I’m pretty sure the signature line says “faithfully yours, Anatole Kuragin.”)

As for the rest of the episode…

Yea, old Bolkonsky was waaaay too reasonable and non-nasty in that scene with Andrei.

(Aside: “Very deeply, Father.” Lol, Andrei. I know everyone around here falls in love after like 2 dates, but I wonder if you thought/said that same thing when you married Lise. Maybe that’s why your father is scoffing at you and your ~feelings.)

I like that they added the barn thing and I always thought that Sonya and Nikolai didn’t just stand there and not kiss. That seemed quite implied :) But no cross-dressing? Why not? I mean if we can have not-so-subtly implied not-really-canon incest then why not canon cross-dressing? Come on, BBC.

It’s a little early for the comet…

I “like” how they keep the part from the book where Pierre tells Marya that Natasha is enchanting but conveniently leave out the part where he’s also like “yea, I can’t really say she’s smart…”

Hahaha. That scene with Boris and Julie was so second-hand-embarrassment uncomfortable. Though, I suppose it ought to have been. Though, I wish they would have shown how once the match is made, Julie turns all practical and she had Boris have very practical conversations about their wedding. Honestly, these two probably worked out perfectly fine together.

Missed Marya Dmitrievna a bit. But for once, cutting something actually worked perfectly fine in this adaptation.

(Aside: the Dolokhov & Anatole hug at the opera was just…life giving. All my shippy feeeeels!)

I don’t know why they had Marya come in person instead of having Natasha send the letter like in canon. It doesn’t feel quite right this way.

Wait…was that all for that Natasha/Pierre scene? …………. I mean maybe we’ll get a more expanded version next episode? Maybe? I don’t have that much faith, tbh.