This is a film review for the movie, "Scarlet Letter". This was a requirement for my English 101 Subject. Hope you like it! Hope you watch the movie!
The Scarlet letter "A" stands for “adulteress”. I never knew that until I finally saw the movie. I have never read the book but I have touched one, saw the bold red letter A on the cover, and got pulled to open the pages. But when I started reading the first three chapters, in my imagination, I threw the book away and spit on it. The plot was set in the olden times, obviously, because it first talked about reality and issues, native people, old customs, and stuff, and I thought it was boring and not interesting. Well, I like reading and watching fiction-fantasy stories, yet I’m rather confused if I really like the whole story of the Scarlet Letter or if it just captivated me because of the unique classic love story of the important characters. Nevertheless, either way, I think I enjoyed watching the movie version of The Scarlet Letter, not much if I have had enjoyed reading it. Reading the novel is so much better than watching the movie version. I have proven it when I have read Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince before I could watch its movie version. And so the story goes: Hester Prynne, the protagonist was sent to America by her husband, Roger Chillingworth. A long time has passed, but her husband has not fulfilled his promise to follow because he was held captive by the native Americans. After some time, she received a news saying that her husband was found dead. With solitude beside her, her loyalty was tested. She was brought to her limits and was tempted to take a bite. It all began when she wandered alone in the forest, and she accidentally took sight of a handsome man swimming in the lake naked. The man happened to be Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. The two met and fell in love with each other until one day, they decided to break off their shorelines and indulge in pleasure, on a sea of grains- they made love. Wait, what? The reverend and she had an affair? Aren't reverends supposed to be celibates? What could have pushed Hester to let go of her first commitment and carry out a crime? Her neighbors are knowledgeable of her husband’t reverends supposed to be celibates? What could have pushed Hester to let go of her first commitment and carry out a crime? ’s absence, and so when they saw her carrying a big hump in front of her, they were so intrigued and there went the news circulating all through the community until it reached the judge. Hester was sentenced to the death of her morality, pride and dignity- she, wearing a red letter A on her chest, was displayed publicly to be mocked and ridiculed by the people, and forced to reveal the other sinner. Enduring the provoking pain of shame, without losing her sole possessions including her sanity, she continued her life and kept the soul she carries alive.
What's better to do than keeping the child? Hester’s friend, who was thought by the people to be a witch, suggested to have the baby aborted, but Hester disagreed. While she was standing on the platform in the middle of the crowd, Arthur was persuading her to reveal the truth, but she resisted. In the crowd, there was Roger Chillingworth, disguised as a doctor. Unknowingly, he became part of the Indian tribe. He returned to plot his revenge. He will kill Arthur, but unfortunately he killed a different man. That death was thought to be caused by the natives so the town officials planned a massive attack, which the Indians came to know about. Anyway, Hester gave birth to a beautiful girl while she was in prison. They continued their lives outside but Hester wears the letter A on her chest still. She was summoned to the court once again to be forced to reveal the truth. Coincidentally, a red mark was found on the baby which was then believed by the people as the “devil’s mark”. There was an uproar by the crowd inside the courtroom. Instantly, Arthur silenced them and shocked them with his revelation. Finally, he spoke of the throbbing truth. Then, the moment that he was about to be hung, the Indians attacked. The ending was a happily ever after: they were both saved and the child was born. What a wonderful ending for a beautiful sin! I believe they had God beside them. I believe that the power of their love saved them.
The film focused mostly on the love story of Hester and Arthur. It showed how love defied the law of God. Love is the most powerful thing. Even in fairytales, they do exist. Well, they're fantasy. In reality, don’t we have fantasies? I do fantasize for some time, and it is really helpful during stressful times. When it comes to love in my life, I also believe that it is the most powerful thing. However, for now, I swore that I will not engage myself in love relationships until the right time comes. But, the message is important to me because it gave me hope that someday I will still find my real love. It will find its way. Is it not the most powerful thing?
There's so much things that I liked about the movie. The story, the script, the cast, the direction and the music, all together, satisfied the crave of the viewers for a good movie. Demi Moore is a beautiful woman. I think she was most suitable for the role of Hester Prynne, and she was successful playing it. She spoke well and clearly, and I did not see any flaw in her acting. The rest of the cast were astounding too. In their choice of location, I think the filmmakers were successful too. The place was perfect for the setting and everything was just in place. It was very convincing that it really looked like it was an exact happening from the past. The music was stupendous. Thanks to John Barry. Another thing that pulled me to liking it is the symbolisms that it contains. They’re symbols I never knew before so it really made a big impact to me. One example is the bathing of a peasant in a tub. I never knew that bathing in a tub really had something to do with your class in the society. The presence of the bird made an impression. It is somewhat a peculiar spice to a dish that makes it stand out in a mysterious way. It captured the viewers attention and gave a little spark of wondering. What did the bird stand for?
How did Nathaniel Hawthorne come to think of this kind of love story? To come up with such an idea, he must have discovered or learned it from reality. I think he wrote what he knew or what he have seen from around him. Probably, he really was a great keen observer. I learned that through observation and experience, one can collect ideas that he can transform into one beautiful creation just like what Hawthorne did: he wrote a beautiful and inspiring novel, which was then more popularized by the movie. From the movie, I learned that religion was really essential to human life and it was given much respect and importance by the people who are its followers. I also learned that valuing a young life rather than valuing your pride is more important.
One thing that struck me a little for being odd is the culture, customs, and the costumes of the Native Americans, same as with our natives here in our country like the Ifugaos. Why do they have to be so bare, and why do they have to stick in their traditions? It was not hard to appreciate what they do because I actually appreciated them. With their existence, we will not be so detached from our history and origins, and it is one way of preserving the rich cultures of the world by actually performing them, not just by keeping them in museums or any depository. As for the filmmaker for having been chosen a happy ending for the story, kudos for him! There was a little bias to permitting the love of the reverend and the married woman. He made a way to let the characters escape to a prettier view and a brighter future.
When you look at the whole movie itself, you will not find any unnecessary or disinteresting things, but if you look over scene by scene, surely you will find some parts that are unpleasing. The singing on the first part was very disturbing. It just destroyed the whole identity of the movie. The first part was supposed to give a nice impression to the viewers, but what happened was that I was thrilled at the same time anxious. It was like getting ready for a kiss wherein you are near the climax, then suddenly your partner farts! How would it feel- and smell? Still, you go on for the kiss as the foul odor slowly fades away from your smell zone and your mind. It's not that I have experienced it. That’s what I get from watching love-comedy movies.
Anyway, the following scenes were comprised of sweet melodies interlaying with mellow narrations , beautiful scenes on green sceneries of Massachusetts, exposures of skin that were a little bit bothering- honestly, classy display of clothes and culture, and some poetic conversations that courted my ears. Not to mention the presence of issues, concerning religion and family, that intensified some moments in the movie.
Each life of the character in the movie was portrayed very well and vividly. There were turning points presented that left deep marks on the viewers' consciousness. First is the captivity of Hester’s husband. Second is Hester’s betrayal. Third is Arthur’s denial of holy laws. Fourth is Hester’s and Arthur’s state of dilemmas. And fifth is the real death of Roger, and the birth of the new child. Roger’s character was kind of antagonistic but he was once a victim, same as the others. All he wanted was peace between the townsmen and the natives. But it turned out to be a disaster so he committed suicide. It seems that each character is a protagonist and an antagonist to one another. This is another thing that I liked about it. The most important thing that I have learned from the film viewing is valuing everything around you- yourself, your family, your neighbor, love, friendship, trust, loyalty, respect, wisdom, promises and God. Applying all that has learned to your own life will help you become a better person. This is a very fruitful movie, but I think few would care to watch it, unless you reveal the interesting parts. I was looking forward to watching the movie because I really did not want to read the book. And so, finally, I was able to diffuse myself into a time, when Puritans and Native Americans lived, that I was not interested in at first, and got amazed. When I introduced this film to a high school classmate, fortunately, she paid attention and showed eagerness to watching it. At least now, I’m certain that one out of many wants to watch the film.
This is a must-see movie. Not only you will be mesmerized by the flow of the story, but also, as you go along the movie span, on the way, you will surely find keys to some mystery boxes in your life. You will discover the enchantments to opening hearts and minds, and surely, this experience will never be written in water. Even years after watching the movie, you will still remember the sensations brought to you, the soothing aura of the background music, the sweet mellow voice of Pearl, the daughter and the narrator, and the unique love story that strikes straight. What are you waiting for? Grab some popcorn or some doughnuts, and let the coziness dwell your room before you watch. This is a 5-star movie! Enjoy!