BY VICTORIA OKON
Word of mouth tales formed our formative years which put our imagination to work. These imaginations were then brought to life with the invent of motion pictures; From silent movies to bone chilling horror movies, let’s not forget the action-filled, super hero films or timeless chick flicks that unconsciously shaped our beliefs.
Every age has its distinctive features which we will openly explore and review.
For this week’s edition we would be looking at the battles through the ages. Ladies and gentlemen, enjoy the read, “CLASSICS VS THE NEW AGE”.
THE THREE MUSKEETEERS
The 1993 version was borne from a novel written by Alexandre Dumas, Le Trois Mousquetaires. It is said that the characters truly existed from the 17th century French era, based on the Memoires of d’Argtagnan. Although, the movie did not follow history to the letter but gained a whopping $53.9 million in the box office. It however gained historical momentum when d’Argtanan played by Chris O’Donnel was the lone ranger who naively but bravely fought battles, won the loyalty of not only his fellow-to-be musketeers but that of the King’s, who later integrated him as a musketeer.
The story plot differs from the former. This particular adaptation was filled with adventure, romance and action. Needless to say it had a lot of mixed reactions causing critics to say it had no originality to fictional history but this did not plummet ratings as most people called it entertaining and finally summed up to be about $20 million. The characters bore the same names but the events leading to its climax varied from Dumas’ tale, what with its dramatic twists and turns, air battleships and quirky quotes. One which is an all time viewers’ favorite:
ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL!
Comparing the 2011 movie to the 1993 version, one could point out strong distinctions, one being the femme fatale. Milady’s wit and brawn (2011) was a strong contrast to the former who had guards flank her sides. Both movies didn’t follow the original novel to the letter but the movie that held the highest ratings was the 1993 adaptation.
A STAR IS BORN
Here Esther Victoria Blodgett (leading lady), was played by Janet Gaynor who was a starry eyed girl, ambitious of becoming a Hollywood movie star. She finally lived her dream with the help of her Granny (May Robson) who gave all of her life savings to begin the journey to stardom. It went on with a series of events where she finally got her first break thanks to Norman Maine (leading male), an egocentric actor. It finally spiralled downhill when Vicki, as she was popularly known, was more sought after than he was. Oh, the irony of it all! He became the clichéd, washed up actor with a drinking problem. When all was said and done, he found the help he needed in a sanatorium but was depressed over the fact that his love was going to quit her career to take care of him. He lost it and went on to commit suicide. Before he walked into the river that later engulfed him, He called out to Vicki “Hey! Mind if I take just…one more look.”
She smiled and waved him off not knowing…
I just wanna take another look at you…
The lead actors were Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, both playing Ally and Jackson Maine respectively. The movie started out with Ally, waitressing with her friend, Ramon.
Enter Jackson Maine, a beautiful musical performer, strumming his guitar and singing his heart out.
Like a match made in heaven, their paths cross and the two live a fairy-tale straight from a novel but there is an underlying problem where both lovers decide to ignore.
Jackson Maine cannot stay sober. After the whole incident of peeing himself on Ally’s award night, he was sent to rehab. Just when he was recovering, another tragedy struck.
Both movies are exceptionally great in their own time. The 1937 was a Hollywood craze age where everyone wanted to be a star. From the hats to the Constance Bennett hairstyles, all of it gave a vintage feel and ‘by golly, it was a swell time’.
It laid the narrative for others to follow, the most recent being the 2018 version. The strong connection on and off stage was nothing short of compelling. This particular account, struck a very personal chord in Bradley Cooper, rallying up his friends, his dog and even his doctor in the movie.
These movies also rang a very mighty bell with suicide and depression which is a current but deadly trend. What if they had been given a second chance to live, would the male characters had done things differently?