Monday, September 7, 2015

Masked Blog Party: Tag!

I'm quite pleased to be doing the tag for the Masked Blog party!

Yet Another Period Drama Blog

I'm thrilled about the impending series and curious to see how the story is changed into modern form.

1. The obvious question... how'd you get introduced to the Scarlet Pimpernel?
When I started my blog in 2012 and started following others', then I saw it mentioned here and there, but really had no idea what it was about. Then one of my older sisters read it for a class, and I got my hands on it as soon as possible after hearing it so highly recommended.

2.  If you could meet any of the characters in real life, who would you choose and why? (you can use the obvious answer of Sir Percy if you really want to, but this is your chance to get creative. ;))
Ooh, of course I'd love to meet Sir Percy, but I'll be original and say… hm. I think Chauvelin. Partly because I have trouble picturing him and partly because I find him very interesting. I'd also like to meet Marguerite, because I'm not sure if she and I would get along or not and I'd like to find out. Armand would be interesting also.

3.  What are your top 3 favorite quotes from the books or movies? (yes, just three)
Hm, hard to pick. There a lots, even though I've only read the first book and recently watched the 1982 movie (review to follow!). It's been a while since I've read the book (I'm in the process of rereading but I'm only just halfway through), so I'm trying to remember my very favorites.
Alright, well, I definitely like Sir Percy's poem:

We seek him here, we seek him there,
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in heaven? — Is he in hell?
That d***ed, elusive Pimpernel!

I can't say whether these next two are my very favorite quotes, as there are so many, but I do like:
 "A woman’s heart is such a complex problem – the owner thereof is often most incompetent to find the solution of this puzzle."
And, horribly unoriginal: 
Odd's fish, m'dear, the man can't even tie his own cravate!

4. Who is your favorite supporting character in the books? (Percy and Marguerite are ineligible)
I like Armand.

5. Which film versions have you seen and which do you like best?
Well, I've only seen the 1982 version (as of Friday night, actually!). I thought the plot was a bit different but the acting sublime. Sir Percy was PERFECT.

6. What's your top-absolute-favorite scene in the first book? (if you've read it-- if not, what's your favorite scene in whichever movie you prefer?)
That is way too hard. PICK A FAVORITE SCENE? IT'S A BRILLIANT WORK. There isn't a bad scene in it.
But I love the scene where Sir Percy kisses the steps were Marguerite walked (and I like the whole scene before that, in the garden, although it's tortuous too). I also like the scene with the cart-driver, towards the end of the first book (I'm being deliberately vague to keep from spoiling things from those of my friends who might be reading this without having read the book). And the very first chapter is good, too...

7. If you could dream-cast a new adaptation of the book (a period piece, that is) who would you choose to play the roles of Sir Percy, Marguerite and Chauvelin?
Ooh, that's hard (especially because of my limited knowledge of actors...). Let's see:
Marguerite~ I think Gwyneth Paltrow might do a good job. 
Sir Percy~ Very tough. He's played so well by Anthony Andrews. I think Robert Downey Jr. could maybe do Percy's humourous side, but not his more serious moments.
Chauvelin~ Perhaps Hugo Weaving. I also saw someone else who did the tag suggested Jason Isaacs, and I have to say he'd probably be pretty good at the part.

8. Do you think the Scarlet Pimpernel does his rescue work purely for "the love of sport," as the narrative would tell us (and as he would often claim) or does he have more noble motives that he won't admit?  Explain your answer.  Show your work.
I don't think so. I'm sure the love of the adventure plays into it, but I think young men who would do such a thing for sport are not very deep characters, and I think the Scarlet Pimpernel is a very deep character. *SPOILER ALERT TO THOSE WHO HAVEN'T READ THE BOOK* His persistent love for his wife, despite circumstances which should have led him to despise her, also shows him to be a very caring person.  *END SPOILER* Then also, there are all the lives of his men that he endangers— sure, if it was just himself, he might do it only for sport, but would he let them risk his lives if he didn't believe this was something really important?

9.  Second to Chauvelin, who is the worst villain in the book series, and why?
Once again I must be honest— I have only read the first book. So I'll pass this one.

10.  What's your favorite novel in the series (if you've read more than one)?  If not, which one are you most excited to read?
I really haven't heard much about the various books, but I plan to dig them out of my library as soon as possible.

11.  If you could change one thing about your favorite version of the movie, what would it be?
I would change the Chauvelin-romance thing. I think there were three categories of change that the 1982 movie used: 1) plot parts taken from El Dorado 2) book-to-movie transitions which changed the plot line or characters minimally, and 3) the Chauvelin romance addition. I accepted 1) because it says at the beginning that it's combined with El Dorado, and 2) is excusable also — if they'd started at the beginning of the book, instead of before Marguerite's marriage, then it would be tough to show all the backstory in a concise way. But I don't really see the point of 3).

12.  Lastly... how would you convince a skeptical friend to read/watch TSP?  What is it that you love about it?
I would say the adventure is exciting and the romance is one of the best I know. And I love things set back in time.

I'm interested to see how Masked keeps the original story, while changing it. I wonder if they'll have any book quotes? And will they use the Scarlet Pimpernel seal??  But most important of all—will the Scarlet Pimpernel himself be as wonderful, now in modern day?
I guess I'll find out tomorrow...

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