Thursday, October 6, 2011

proposals gone wrong: the one where it's... mutual?

Do you ever have those days that are just going so atrociously wrong and you try to comfort yourself by thinking, "It can't possibly get any worse," and then it does? Yeah. Well, I follow these days up by muttering something about how I feel like I'm a character in a Thomas Hardy novel. If any author had absolutely no heart for what he was putting his characters (and me) through, it was Thomas Hardy. Case in point: Tess of the d'Urbervilles. It's one of my favorite classics, but I cried over it for a week. It's cute how you think I'm joking. Honestly, I literally cried for a week. And not the elegant tears flowing down my flushed cheeks kind of crying either. The 2008 mini series was so spectacular that I watched it all in one go, finishing with racking sobs and tissues full of sorrow snot (you're welcome) at three in the morning. When I woke up the next day, I remembered what had happened and laid in bed bawling, slipping back into an emotional coma. Two days later, the book arrived on my doorstep (yes, I realize I approached this story backwards) in the middle of nowhere France and just looking at it... Yep, you guessed it, cue the waterworks. So please believe me (and be warned if you decide to read or watch it, which you really should because OMGeezies!!!) when I say, I cried for an entire week. 

That being said, there are moments in the story when your heart swells with oh-thank-you-Thomas-Hardy-for-allowing-me-to-feel-what-happiness-is-again type feelings and they can mostly be attributed to the reappearance of Angel Clare (played beautifully by Eddie Redmayne). Angel falls in love with Tess on a dairy where she flees to escape her past and start over and he's working as the farmer's apprentice. Tess loves him back fiercely, but due to certain wretched things that happened to her in the first episode, she feels she doesn't deserve him. And if you're wondering, "Well, how many horrible things can possibly happen in one freaking episode?" then I'll remind you again that this was written by Thomas Heartless. I mean Hardy. As the title suggests, this is the only proposal I'm going to talk about where both characters actually love each other. Still, Angel is rejected, and *riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip* goes my heart as it's torn inevitably in two.

Could it be or is it actually worse when it's mutual?!?! Because surprise: this is the only proposal gone wrong that actually assaults my tear ducts. Tess can't bring herself to tell Angel the secret she's keeping, but she also won't allow herself to tarnish his name by marrying her. She loves him too much to marry him, but she fears she'll lose his love forever if she tells him the truth. Heart through the shredder!!!!!! While you're not so subtly yelling, "JUST TELL HIM! YOU LOVE EACH OTHER! IT WILL BE OKAY, GOSH DARN IT!" you also sort of understand that she's not ready to tell him, especially after he's just listed off all these wonderful qualities that she wants to believe are true. But, oh... Oh! Look at his faaace! He doesn't know there's a secret. He doesn't know! Oh mah gosh! THIS IS WHAT HEARTBREAK FEELS LIKE!!!!! AND NIAGRA FALLS IS RUSHING OUT OF MY EYEBALLS AND WHAT THE HEY, THERE IS NO CHOCOLATE IN MY KITCHEN CABINETS! Ahem, you see, dear readers, I decided that in order to "review" this proposal properly, I had to go back and watch the series from the very beginning so I could truly wrap my brain around the emotion of this moment. Of course, this just means I ended up with a case of blurry eyes and "oh everything's fine *sniff*," whenever roommates walked in on my self made pity-for-Tess-and-Angel party. So by the time I hit this scene, it is just like CREYES FOR EYES defined, alright? Gemma Arterton is the perfect Tess and she really does an incredible job of walloping you in the gut here with her torn expressions and "I only ever want to love you." Gahhh I feel like I actually witnessed this regretful rejection in person! It's so difficult!!!

It's a lovely proposal; running across the field to her and his beautiful voice opening with, "Tess, you're not to Mr. Clare me ever again." I'd have said yes, of course, but I am not as strong as Tess. But then, she'll be powerless to say no soon enough. You just... I can't... Why... Gah... If only she had told him everything right there! If only she could articulate her history and her feelings! Before the merde hits the Victorian fan of morality laced with double standards. Where's your humanity, Hardy? Hardy!!!!!! If I could assault a dead man, y'all... Ooo buddy! My FEELINGS are of the ALL CAPS variety and akin to wild horses tramping on Thomas Hardy's grave with a vengeance. Not that I'm terribly bitter or anything. Speaking of being two faced, part of the reason that I love this story so much, though, is how tragic it is; there's perfection in the tragedy. But oh... oh my shattered heart. 

1 comment:

  1. Why WHY did you have to choose this proposal for your series? Because now I'm sitting here in bed, listening to sad parts from movie scores and reliving the whole thing in my head. I'll never forget senior year of high school. YOU CRUSHED MY HEART, Thomas Hardy. CRUSHED. I need some tissues.