Thursday, May 17, 2012

Proposals Gone Right: The One That Almost Wasn't

Alright, alright, so some of you might say that calling this a proposal gone right is a bit of a stretch, but I can't not include this one. I mean, she sort of agrees to marry him, after all! The New World is, I think, one of the most hauntingly beautiful films I've ever seen; it's so organic and rocks you like a lullaby the whole way through. If you're unfamiliar with this interpretation of the story of Pocahontas, please do yourself a favor and track down a copy. But once you do, grab yourself a box of tissues too. Seriously. You will be weeping over camera angles alone much less the love stories.
You don't have to ask me twice! (x)
Having been cast out by her people for helping the settlers, Pocahontas has been quietly living in Jamestown where she mourns both her exile and, later, the supposed death of John Smith. He is, in fact, alive, but told his fellow men to tell her he had drowned (whyyyyyy?!?!). Seldom do I come across a love triangle where I'm rooting for both suitors (though... is it really a love triangle if one of the guys is presumed dead and they're not pursuing her at the same time??), but along comes John Rolfe in the next wave of settlers to the Virginia colony and he is everything that is comforting and good. He takes an immediate interest in Pocahontas, who is baptized with the Christian name Rebecca, slowly easing himself into her life of solitude. Witnessing her wonder with the world as he helps her with her education and walks through the wilderness with her in silence, he finds himself sincerely attached to her.

John: Suppose I asked you to marry me, what would you say?
Pocahontas: Are you asking me?
Who cares?! Look at him! Say yes now!!!
Pocahontas: Where would we live?
Again: who cares?! Look at him! Say yes now!!!
John: Here. England, if you wish. Perhaps that would be best. We could- You could forget your life in this place.
Ooo... ahhh... probs not the best thing to say there, bro.
John: Why do you shrink from me?
IDK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *GRABBY HANDS*
John: Won't you say yes?
Pocahontas: If you like.
John: This isn't what I expected, Rebecca.
Me neither! WTF!
Pocahontas: I'm sorry.
Jump him and we shall wipe your slate clean!
John: Why are you crying?
IDK!!!!!!!!!! Overwhelmed with your beauty, perhaps?
Pocahontas: I suppose I must be happy.
Correction: you ARE happy. But I'll take it! Also: ZOMG LOOK AT HIS FAAAAAAAACE!
John: You do not love me now. Someday you will.
Someday when I'm awfully low and the world is cold, I will feel a glow just thinking of you and the way you look with your scraggly hair and britches in a land that's yet to be tamed!

So, like I said, you might not fully agree with me that this is a proposal gone right. Granted, it's a bit murky and, sure, she's not entirely sure she loves him like that, but... I HAVE TO INCLUDE IT, OKAY?! Because the proposal isn't rejected. So there. Proposal gone right, dear readers! It does irk me that this clip cuts off before she places her hand on shoulder, so just know that that's there and she has lotsa FEELINGS. Up till this point, their mutual affection has been on a slow but swoon-worthy burn. So when he does propose, you know she's overloaded with all the FEELS and is just having a hard time taking it all in. Of course she's going to be with him 4evs! These two practically invented PROXIMITY!
Smile, girl, you just landed yourself a colonial legend/hottie! (x)
While Pocahontas' reaction is not quite how I would react (i.e. body slam into the nearest pine tree), it's perfect for her character. She is so completely overwhelmed by his generosity and quiet constancy, you can see the wheels turning in her mind as she tries to pinpoint her feelings for him while feeling a rush of conflicting emotions regarding John Smith. Every good thing in her life had been torn from her before John Rolfe entered the scene and she has good cause to be suspicious. She has been ill-used, exiled, broken hearted, grief stricken, you name it. So when pure and unadulterated happiness is presented to her on silver platter, she admires it, but not without question. Does that make sense? No. 

Anyway, John Rolfe is rather the antithesis of John Smith. The movie presents the popular idea that Pocahontas and John Smith had a romantic relationship and I, for one, really enjoy it. Despite his actions (i.e. the "tell her I've drowned" instead of "tell her I've chosen a career over love" no no), he did set the bar high enough that I was a bit unsure about shipping Pocahontas/John Rolfe even if he is played by Christian Bale (side note: *FAN FLAIL*). But ship it I do and even more so than I did with Smith! Because John Rolfe is steady and true; he is constant! So even though the ending of this proposal is a bit heartbreaking with the whole, "You do not love me now. Someday you will," sorrow-snot inducer, you can't help awwwing because that's just such a John Rolfe thing to say. He sees a goodness in Pocahontas, the promise of affection when she says, "I suppose I must be happy," and that is enough. Ugh. The true love! The ALL CAPS FEELINGS!!! *heart clutch/CREYES*

To conclude, on a scale of meh to ZOMG! *GRABBY HANDS*, I have to give this one a 'not quite my style, but... aheeee!!! I'll take what I can get where John Rolfe is concerned!' I love John Rolfe. I. love. him. But the "suppose I asked you to marry me" bit is admittedly not my cup of tea. Just say it! And make eye contact, darn it!!! But I am willing to forgive all of this because such is the case of FEELS I get for this real-life OTP. That and the whole scene is such a perfect representation of their relationship. The moment happens a bit too soon, but somehow he doesn't scare her off. Because they are love and love is real!

P.S. Can you believe that Q'orianka Kilcher was only 14 when she played Pocahontas? Yeah. As in Colin Farrell was her first kiss (now a deleted scene), swiftly followed by Christian Bale. Some people have all the luck! But isn't she mesmerizing? I love love love her portrayal.


  1. UGH. SALLY! Why would you do this to me!?! I feel like The New World is one of those films that is SO under-appreciated. Like, really, it's so atmospheric and THEMUSIC lures you in, and really the acting is phenomenal and I think it's brilliant that there's so little talking. It really makes you pay attention to the characters and how they interact with each other and OH THE PROXIMITY. And I'll admit that I fully went in to this thinking BAH JOHN ROLFE, who cares about you or historical accuracy JOHN SMITH FTW, but you know what, Christian Bale is EFFFING BRILLIANT and so is Q'orianka and hell, how is it that she was only 14?!??!?!

    THE FEELS. I could kill you for this, Sally (but in a good way) because now I'm breaking out the tissues and preparing to watch this.

    1. I'm sorry Mariah!!!!!!!!! I too am powerless against The New World love machine. It's so true! Christian Bale, especially the bits after they're married, is just... just... perfection! And all the PROXIMITY! I JUST CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN'T!!!!!!!!!!!