So, these movies may not be for everyone, but they are a definite must see if you love literature. The Thomas Hardy Collection presents two adaptations of two of his novels: Tess of the D’urbervilles and The Mayor of Casterbridge. Hardy’s works, like most from the 1800s, are dense and complex, filled with deep thematic elements, vivid imagery, and plenty of thought-provoking content. And they were quite controversial in their day as well.
The two films presented in this collection are nothing short of amazing. They are extremely well-made, engaging, and the actors deliver performances that Mr. Hardy would be proud of. Each of these works delivers a multitude of themes and layers that can be explored and discussed long after the stories have ended.
As almost everyone knows, adapting a novel into a film can be a tricky feat. Novels, especially novels like these, are rather dense and complex, so making sure that the key elements of the story and its characters make it to the screen is not an easy task. With both Tess and Casterbridge, I got the sense that the filmmakers were in love with Thomas Hardy’s works in their original form.
It was clear that the challenge of adapting the films was undertaken with care, and that this was not just an attempt to make just anything work. From the period settings, the costumes, and the superb acting, these two films envelope you in the world of each story and deliver Hardy’s works with grace and style.
The one thing I was disappointed about with the collection was the bonus feature of Thomas Hardy’s biography. I was hoping for an A&E Biography about the man, his life, and his works, but instead was met with a lot of small text. Other than that this is a worthwhile collection for Hardy fans and lovers of literature.
Again, this is not a collection for everyone. But if you enjoy a solid novel-to-screen adaptation, The Thomas Hardy Collection is definitely worth checking out.
The Thomas Hardy Collection is available NOW on DVD!
What is your favorite novel-to-film adaptation? Leave a comment and let us know!