Wild Young Minds: Gone with the wind: most classic of all classics

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Gone with the wind: most classic of all classics

Warning before you read this: if you're one of those people who have to see a movie without pauses, you should think twice before watching 'Gone with the Wind', since it lasts 4 hours. Having said this, I can start my review about this film. And what a film it is. I'd never really thought about this film before, of course the name 'Scarlett O'Hara' sounded familiar and I knew it had something to do with the Civil War, but it was never really on top of my list of films to see.
But it should definitely be on top of your list of films to see. 'Gone with the Wind' is a heartbreaking story, with a few of the best actors the world has known and though it came out in 1939, the story can still relate to this time. Vivien Leigh is beautiful as the damned Scarlett O'Hara, one of the most inspiring film characters ever and Clark Gable is extremely charming as the manly Rhett Gable. 

'Gone with the Wind' is based on the novel by Margaret Mitchell, which she wrote in 1936. It takes place in the South of the US in the 19th-century. The entire story is about Scarlett O'Hara and her two loves. She really loves Ashley Wilkes, who is married to his cousin Melanie Hamilton, a thoroughly good woman. Scarlett O'Hara is a passionate woman but she can be quite outgoing and troublesome. Scarlett comes from a good family and lives on Tara, a cotton plantation in Georgia. The films begins with Scarlett learning that her great love Ashley is going to marry someone else.

She is desperate for his love and seeks attention from all men just to make him jealous. One man is admiring her: Rhett Butler, though he's not 'a marrying man'. Though Scarlett has only eye for Ashley, the tension between them is obvious. It is already clear that Scarlett and Rhett have a lot in common. They are both independent people, not always loved by everyone, by their controversial opinions and direct actions.

Meanwhile, the tide of the War turns. During the Battle of Gettysburg many men are killed. Scarlett and Melanie are deadly afraid something will happen to Ashley as well. He survives, but the hope of returning love from Ashley is still vain. The chance of winning the war becomes smaller and smaller, as the Yankees (the opposities) take over more ground and kill more people and houses in Scarlett's neighbourhoud. From this point on, things are beginning to get bad, real bad. It never rains but it pours.     Scarlett's mom dies, her father becomes a mad man, she has to deliver Melanie's baby, without help of her house servants. There's no money left, no food, nothing.

Eventually, as is always the case in films, things begin to get better again. Though many of Scarlett's friends and family have died, she climbs up again. This is visible in a scene when Scarlett stands at the remains of her cottage, in the wind, shouting: 'As God is my witness, I shall never be hungry again!' Though she's used that her servants (the wonderful fat Black lady called 'Mommy') do everything for her, she now takes care for herself and her family. She does this by beginning a company at the mill, with help of Ashley (whom she still hopes to marry one day). Despite (or maybe thanks to) threating her employees really badly (which of course was the case in those days, but it's still inexcusable), she has a lot of success.

Many more things happen, but I'll stick to the point. Scarlett loses two husbands (who she both didn't really love) and continues meeting Rhett from time to time. He proposes to her and Scarlett is mostly tempted by his money (though she obviously has a thing for him as well) so she says yes. They have a daughter and things seem to be okay for a while. Until their daughter dies in a horse ride. This is the lowest point in the film and Rhett and Scarlett are over as well.

That's all I'm going to say for now, but the ending of the movie is phenomenal. Not that it is extremely surprising, but there's no happy ending, and I'm crazy about unhappy endings. Especially because it has to do with love, and of course I know love should be something that has to end happy, I have thins thing for crazy, passionate but impossible loves. The love between Rhett and Scarlett is exactly like this. You know they're meant to be, because the passion is enormous. But there's always something going wrong - Scarlett still having a crush on Ashley, their child dies, etc. You can almost scream: No! Guys! You belong together! Almost like Big & Carrie, Ross & Rachel or Chuck & Blair but 70 years ago.

Anyway, the story of this film is one that must be seen, read or heard. Though the film sometimes becomes a long-winded (what else do you except when it takes 4 hours?), there's enough action in it to remain captivating. Clark Gable has this thing, such a naughty smile, which is one of the most attractive things a man can have, in my opinion. Vivian Leigh is just beautiful, strong and I really admire her, which doesn't happen a lot. But she's powerful, direct and vulnerable at the same time. Together they're perfect. As actors, as characters, as team. If you love America, or if you just love great stories or great loves, see 'Gone with the Wind'. If it's not today, it can be tomorrow. That's also how Scarlett sees it when she realizes she does love Rhett in the end: ''I'll think of some way to get him back. After all... tomorrow is another day!''

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