Sunday, September 05, 2004

All is Vanity

Vanity of vanities and we spent a good chunk of the day with the current version of Becky Sharp. K. noticed at the end credits that the choreography was attributed to the Farah Khan, the director of Main Hoon Na. I used to read Vanity Fair every year but have slacked off recently. The first reading was from that Five-Foot Shelf. Despite all vicissitudes the first paperback acquired is still on the shelf and, as I remembered, it does, even in that format, have some of Thackeray's drawings and embellishments, although not nearly so many as a library hardcover sometimes prints. In the movie, some liberties were taken with the plot, but an astonishing number of the characters and plot entanglements from the print Vanity Fair made it to the movie Vanity Fair. At any rate, the movie wastes none of the narrative time indulging in no "explanations" of anything and is a true feast for the eyes. There was nothing wrong with Reese Witherspoon's performance, and particularly enjoyable were the huge troupe of supporting players. Becky's treated with a great deal of sympathy; yet, the silliest review seen yet complains that Vanity Fair is "heartless"! This is definitely a big-screen feast for the eye and, as always, Rawden Crawley is the most sympathetic character if any such there be. We remember having seen a very good print of the version called Becky Sharp. When we got home, we looked up Vauxhall and Ranelagh. I think that K. will visit one of them in the course of reading Camilla, but I can't remember for sure.


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