Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sink Me!

I think we all have a few or at least one movie that is a go-to film when there is a need for a pick-me-up or simply background noise.  You may even think you're not in the mood to watch that movie, but the second it starts, you stop what you're doing and sit on the floor with your head propped up in your hands.  Yeah,  y'all know what I'm talking about.  I have a handful of films that create this phenomenon in me, and one such gem is The Scarlet Pimpernel with Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour.  If you have not seen it, stop reading this and get on that!  It's gold.  From the very first scene, I am helplessly sucked in.  The clanging of the jail cells and the jailor's keys in a dingy dungeon sets the tone for one of the greatest stories of heroism and bravery.
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If you are unfamiliar with the story, it is set in France (natch) during the Terror of the French Revolution.  It's a terrible time to be an aristocrat.  Sir Percy Blakeney, an English aristocrat and the Scarlet Pimpernel, and his posse set out on a mission to save as many people as they can from Madame la Guillotine.  They achieve such seemingly unattainable ends through disguise and deception.
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Percy, a highly intelligent man, decides that the best way to keep his identity a secret is to pretend to be a complete idiot in society.  He comes across as good natured, just very simple.  This ruse serves him well, until he meets Marguerite.  It's love at first sight.  Unfortunately, Percy has to keep his mask on for her as well, though Marguerite is a highly intelligent woman and knows that there is more to the man that she loves than meets the eye.
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But, of course, drama must ensue.  Marguerite is accused of sending a family of aristocrats to the guillotine, the falsified account of which is related to Sir Percy on their wedding day.  He must then keep this woman that he can't help but love at a distance lest she endanger the mission of the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel.  On top of all of that, Marguerite is also being harassed by Chauvelin, an ex-love interest.  Armand, Marguerite's brother, worked under Chauvelin until he is used as a pawn to capture an aristocratic friend.  The wool then falls from Armand's eyes, and he becomes determined to save his friend, a plan which he shares with Percy.  Percy then makes sure that Armand is of good and true character and bids him join the League.  To make a long story short, Armand goes rogue, Chauvelin finds out and blackmails Marguerite.  She must discover the true identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel in exchange for her brother's life.  Oh, and the Scarlet Pimpernel is also in the middle of planning an escape for the Dauphin.  But, really, that's not a big deal, right?  The son of the former King of France...no one is even thinking of him during the Revolution.  Psh.
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Are you hooked yet?  You should be.  I would tell you the rest, but I can't in good conscience do that to you all.  Ruin the juiciest bit of the story where everything runs together and you wonder who's going to live, will the Scarlet Pimpernel survive, what will happen to the Dauphin, will Percy and Marguerite ever be happy again, why is Lord Anthony Dewhurst so dang attractive?  NEVER!  
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Please, don't ask me to divulge such secrets.  I would be doing you a disservice, and you would never forgive me.  So, the only means of assuaging your anxiety is to go watch the movie!  Right now.  Stop staring at me and get going!  
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2 comments:

  1. Sarahhhhhh!!!!!! The last time I watched this I was with you in France! Probably eating Subway in a cheap hotel room- haha. I remember feeling a bit lost during this one, but laughing excessively. I need to see it again! But it won't be the same without youuuu!!!

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  2. Oh, hello, I have never seen this film or read the novel. GASP! I must fix these atrocities immediately.

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