Monday, 23 February 2015

When the Villain makes it worth while

Over the weekend I continued watching Till We Meet Again, that lovely mini-series I spoke about in a previous post http://vintagehew.blogspot.com/2015/02/my-week-in-film-and-book-titles.html and which is based on a book which is now on my 'to read' list.
 
This time it was the second part. IMDB for some reason lists only two episodes for this title, even specifying that the actors take part in 2 parts. However this second instalment is on the first of the 2 DVDs that came in the box and the story very clearly announces 'to be continued' at the end of the session I am talking about. Clearly, there are one or two more episodes in the second disc (am guessing one given the total time given on the back of the DVD.)
 
So what is so special about this narrative? To start with, anything that manages to get me interested in world history must be a well-presented script given how uninterested I am in history as a rule. Somehow, setting believable people in 'time' intrigued me enough. This was not about the Jews being taken away from their family but about a particular one the viewer is interested in for him being a part of Delphine's (one of the main characters) life. This was not about a Frenchman who befriends the Nazis but about the Frenchman you've come to know (and would like to see changed) that stoops low enough even to SPOILER ALERT eventually kill off an innocent for getting in his way and assaulting his half-sister when she proves not to go along with his cruel plans.
 
What starts out as the story of a defiant young woman in the first part of this drama turns into the tale of the turmoil surrounding all that has become her world, diverging into the separate lives of her children and her step-son, who has a background all his own to excuse and account for just how much of a bastard he turns out to be.
 
Which brings me to the title subject. There is more than one villain in this piece, true. The Nazis contribute greatly to the story as seen through the eyes of the French and main character Eve's first lover is truly an unworthy choice. However, it is Hugh Grant that seems to me to make the best of the villains.
 
In his role as Bruno de Lancel, the Frenchman-turned-Nazi, he appears to pull off the atrocious part so well I was actually shocked. Don't get me wrong. I am more than a big fan of the man and I am on the side of those who think he can act but I don't believe any of his other villain roles I've seen were ever so over-all cruel and devoid of compassion. For even in An Awfully Big Adventure (http://vintagehew.blogspot.com/2014/09/an-awfully-big-adventure-1995.html) in which he plays the homosexual who exploits young men whilst appearing to scorn all those around him, there is a side to the character that pities the young newbie Stella and despite his dark intents also manages to befriend her uncle. There is no place for such pity in Bruno's part.
 
I concede that the first part of this story had been captivating as well as leaving enough questions unanswered to warrant viewing the following part. I must say though it had not given me the chill that this week's viewing did and I am more curious than ever to return to the third (and maybe final?) part for many reasons: Does Freddy (a woman, played by Courteney Cox) love her partner enough to make the right choice, or was her friend right in saying she'd married the wrong man for her? Will Delphine ever be reunited with the love-of-her-life who was also unfortunately for the time, a Jew? And more importantly, will Bruno change for the better? Because truly, his story is from the very first the best-developed plot of all and with the viewer having followed the man's life since he was a baby, I am sure not to be the only one who still blames his past and grandparents for his becoming what he is and hoping for his redemption as he could really make a man out of himself.
 
 

No comments:

Post a Comment