WIDE SARGASSO SEA
DIRECTOR: JOHN DUIGAN
COUNTRY: USA 1993
CINEMATOGRAPHY: GEOFF BURTON
MUSIC: STEWART COPELAND
CAST: Karina Lombardo (Antoinette), Nathaniel Parker (Rochester), Claudia Robinson (Christine), Rowena King (Amelie), Michael York, Rachel Ward, Martine Beswicke
SUPER FEATURES: Well, it is a nice film, but...
This film is nice. But how to say what is nice about it, is not easy.
It is a story based on the days when the West Indies were involved in many battles between the white man suppressor from another country, and the natives, who wish they had more control of their own destiny. If anything, it states that the battle for sovereignty has always existed,
and that the imperialistic leader of the land has been able to maintain some control for a period of time. But, even in the 1840's, the balance between power, and revolution, is already sagging, and showing signs of decay.
The film starts with a marriage that is somewhat arranged for an English man that has become the heir of a large plantation, which is worked by the many slaves they have. And the woman he eventually marries, is also one of the better to do people of the islands who have managed
to do enough work for the white man to afford themselves a better living, and begin to look like westerners, rather than the indigenous people they are. And the balance is precarious. The relationship manages to survive as long as Richard is in charge, interested, and not given to any other temptations. But as he begins to get into drink, and later womanizing, the whole political situation begins to fall apart, until his own wife sets the whole thing ablaze and the film ends.
Well, the film does have some nice moments with music. And the lead actresses, specially the mystic maid ( Rowena King ), are special indeed, even hinting that she had other abilities with the native magical ways. However, she is the only one that realizes the potential of having a job, and being paid for it. But it isn't enough to carry a film that appears in dire need of deciding whether it is going to be an emotional story about two ill fated people, or the destruction of the imperial forces, or the freedom of the slavery in the isles.
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