The Scarlet Pimpernel 1982 ~ Movie Review
If one follows Period Drama Blogs, one constantly hears of this movie. CONSTANTLY. I got very sick of it, in fact. Sink me, why can't people just stop talking about the almighty goodness of Sir Percy and the beautiful sentimental-ness of Marguerite and evil maliciousness of Chauvelin? I didn't even like the look of the story - guillotines? Silver clothes? Sinking oneself? Wut?
So yes, I didn't expect I'd like it. But yet, I wanted to see it, so I could join all those TSP conversations and understand the swoonworthy factors. So a few months ago, I sat down and watched it. And yes... Now I Understand.
The story is about this clan - The Scarlet Pimpernel clan - who saves innocent people from the cruel hands of the head-chopper - the guillotine. Yes, there were a few guillotine scenes, and I skipped them, of course. Seeing as I skipped them, I don't know how gruesome they were, but I'd recommend skipping them. :-) Unless you're interested in seeing that kind of thing, which, of course, I hope you're not.
Chauvelin, the meanie, wants to catch the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel. Sir Percy IS the Scarlet Pimpernel, but no-one knows it. He's a dashed good disguiser. :-) And then Chauvelin realises Percy is the one, catches him, but then - tadaaa - it ends well. That's a quick description. Now on to the fun Naomi-ness of the review.
While I don't craze over him as much as some people I might mention, I have to admit: Sir Percy was quite an amazing chap. A hero. A swoon-worthy-in-a-weird-way gentleman. He seems like a stiff robot kind of person in the beginning, with his poems and cravats and ehhhh-voice (people who've watched this know exactly what I'm talking about, haha) - a very charming kind of robot, but robot-ish nonetheless. He doesn't really seem like a person. But that's the whole point. He's constantly pretending to be someone else. It must be quite tiring for him!
Sir Percy is three people:
He is Sir Percy - the guy with the silk suits, big lace cravats, a monocle and a fondness for words that rhyme. Of course, these aspects are also part of 'who-he-really-is' (Sir Percy will always genuinely love cravats - ALWAYS forever and ever and ever and ever, because Sir Percy = Cravats) but this charming fellow with a stiff smirk and gallant gestures is, let's face it, a gentleman in disguise.
I love this side of Sir Percy. It's HILARIOUS. I love the way he says 'odd fish m'dear' and 'Sink Mehh' (a phrase HIGHLY addicting and contagious, I warn you - it's worse than 'what-ho') and I love his little poem:
They seek him here, they seem him there,
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere,
Is he in heaven or is he in -- hell?
That elusive Scarlet Pimpernel
He's a poet... and you did not knowet. :-) This side of Sir Percy is indubitably the most quoted, most laughed-over, most known-as-Sir-Percy side. It's a great side. :-)
He is some kind of beggar person. He has many costumes, Sir Percy has. He does this to snuggle the prisoners and get them free. Very good at this, he is - he has some amazingly good tricks. I love how he - such a rich person - takes a humble place to save people. It shows his huge heart.
He is the Scarlet Pimpernel. He is a real person. He devotes his entire life to saving innocent people, he's the guy who never ever panics (he alllways stays so stinking calm!) - he's romantic, loves his wife tenderly and dearly. He's CLEVER (The dressing-up Sir-Percy side of him isn't, but the real Sir Percy - the Scarlet Pimpernel, he's the cleverest man in the world.) He's a hero, but you have to understand the real him properly before you can love him.
And the last sentence he says in the movie, whilst holding his wife close to him, with a little smirk on his head, is, 'Sink me, you're a poet.' But he says it while he is really him - her own, darling, elusive Pimpernel. :-)
Which brings me to Marguerite, beautifully acted by the charming Jane Seymour. She was a lovely lady, emotional, big heart, fluttery, romantic, charming but so strong and courageous. I wanted to scream at her and say, 'Don't worry dear Marguerite! He loves you! He loves you!' I felt so sorry for her.
Now and then, I have to say, she didn't feel very real. The movie is all a bit sentimental (in the best way) and sometimes the way she whispered was perhaps a bit overdone. But it was the style of the story, and it was Marguerite's character - she's passionate. I also love that she's an actress, but never realises her husband is, in fact, one too! :-) One would think actresses and actors would be able to spot it when someone else is acting, right?
Her dresses were nice, although often to exposed, but her hair... ahem. I have to think about what I think of her hair.
Their romance was one of the most darling things I had seen in a long time. The ending - where he puts his hands on her shoulders on 'The Day Dream.' AWWWWWW. How can you not like these two beautiful people?!
In the beginning their love seemed a bit fake, but in the end it was so genuine and lovely.
And finally we have the crow of the show. Chauvelin. *shudder*
He was mean, so against our own Sir Percy, the big problem-causer. Hate the man. But, I know you are all going to dispute against me for saying this, but sometimes I thought it was kind of well, pitiful. I just felt a teenyweeny bit sorry for him now and then - you know, a teeeeeenyweeeeny bit. I'm allowed to do that, right? I mean, he was SO desperately trying to win, and he NEVER does. He's the big, big, big loser. It's hilarious to see him loose, I was smirking and mocking at him when Sir Percy ripped all his buttons off and came in the room when he was supposed to be dead, but I also felt a TIIIINY bit sorry for him when I saw those sweaty, puppy-eyes of his.
He's SUCH a big looser. HAHA.
This was the best scene, no three tails about it. Totally fell in love with him here.
Oh, and did anyone else spot Julian Fellowes?
Have you seen 'The Scarlet Pimpernel?'
What did you think of it?