Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Forsyte Saga Series 2|
Actors: Damian Lewis, Rupert Graves, Gina McKee, Emma Griffiths Malin, Lee Williams
Director: Andy Wilson
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television
Studio: Acorn Media Release Date: 02/24/2004
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(1 out of 5 stars)
"I had high hopes for one of the most interesting novels in the Forsyte Chronicle Series: To Let. This novel featured the "star crossed lovers" Jon Forsyte, son of Irene and Young Jolyon and Fleur Forstye, daughter of Soames and Annette Forsyte. I read the novel and was enthralled with the 1969 dramatization which featured the exceptional and perfectly cast Susan Hampshire as Fleur Forsyte. The episodes covering To Let not only featured Ms. Hampshire but Kenneth More, Eric Porter, and Nyree Dawn Porter. It was wonderful.As I started to watch the new series I thought I was in for a treat. Was I wrong! The writers seemed to throw Galsworthy's wonderful story out the window for a revisionist look at Jon and Fleur's love story. It started by creating a meeting that never took place in the book between Jon and Fleur as children (giving the young people a sense of deja vu when they meet in the art gallery in 1920). Nothing of the sort ever took place. Jolyon and Irene spent much of their time at Robin Hill and Soames and Annette at Mapledurham. The young people never met until the fateful encounter at the art gallery. The writers took liberties with the plot in many jarring ways. Monty Dartie died before events of To Let took place. Yet there he is (looking like he hasn't aged a day) stirring up trouble for Winifred. The new series has Fleur going incognito to Robin Hill and making the acquaintance of Young Jolyon(who also looks like he never aged a day). Fleur Forsyte was an intelligent young woman who never in a million years would have pulled something so blundering. And Young Jolyon, according to Galsworthy, only met Fleur once, at an awkward tea at Robin Hill; Irene met Fleur and Jon and invited them to tea. Young Jolyon never really had anything against Fleur save she was the daughter of Soames Forsyte. It was Irene that he was most worried about; Jolyon was horrified for Irene to have her son married to the daughter of the man who once hurt her. And there was never a reconciliation between Irene and Soames at the end of To Let. Irene refused to shake hands with Soames at Robin Hill and later, in an art gallery, Soames refused Irene's offer to shake hands with him.I was disappointed at the way the writers handled Jon and Irene's trip to Spain so Jon could "forget" Fleur. All we have are Irene dancing in a restaurant. It doesn't convey Jon's longing for Fleur and his desperately trying to shorten the vacation so he could get back to her.Fleur and Jon never had sex during events of To Let. In a later novel, Swan Song, Fleur wishes she had trapped Jon into marriage by sleeping with him and being "compromised," but Jon and Fleur only had a one night stand many years after events of To Let took place.I was disappointed with the age discrepancies of the characters. June Forsyte was supposed to be in her fifties. Here she looks younger than her half sister Holly (who was supposed to be born about 12 years after June). Prosper Profund was a shadowy, sinister figure; here he's played like a buffoon.
Michael Mont, a pivotal character, is never fully delineated like he was in the 1969 series. Nicholas Pennell who played Michael then did an excellent job of depicting his longing for Fleur and his patience with her.The acting of the players was good, but they lost credibility playing the characters who didn't seem to belong to Galsworthy at all.I hope the producers do not plan to do the Modern Comedy series; this was the weakest part of the Galsworthy saga. The best of the three novels in the trilogy was Swan Song, which concerned Fleur's reawakened passion for her cousin Jon (even though both Fleur and Jon are now married to others). The Forsyte Saga novels: The Man of Property, In Chancery, and To Let, were the best of the series. I would probably cringe at what the producers/writers do to the Modern Comedy series."
I didn't want it to end
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have never read the books or seen the original series. I only was obsessed with the first series on DVD last year and for the last couple of days have been obsessed with the second. The only reason why I went onto the internet as soon as the second one finished is I wanted to see if that was indeed the end. Unfortunately it is.I am upset that they rushed through the developing love affair between Jolyon and Irene in the first series. I also did not love Series 2 as much as Series I.But as I had not read the books or seen the 1969 series I did not miss the omissions that obviously disturbed other viewers. It was just a fabulous British drama with wonderful sets and costumes and it totally sucked me in. That is what I really want these days when constantly searching for new dramas to watch on DVD. This one fulfilled this requirement.I would recommend this version series to anyone!!!!!!!!!!!! I am now just going to have to buy the 1969 series."
Entertaining and engrossing on its own merits
mys_reader | 02/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Not having read any of the Galsworthy stories or seen the 1960s TV version of the Forsyte Saga, I'm blissfully free of the prejudices that seem to afflict some of the other reviewers. I don't doubt that those who wish to compare every difference between the source materials and/or the older TV version will find much to confront them. For myself, though, life is too short for such silliness, and a good drama should ultimately be appreciated on its own merits. By that measure, these new chapters in the story of the Forsyte clan are dandy.When I came across it on my local PBS station, I stopped flipping channels and watched. And what I watched was genuinely engrossing. I was curious about what these people would do and what would happen next. I found the young lovers to be well-played and Damian Lewis to be quite good. As far as production values, as a long-time fan of British TV, I've learned that production vlaues are ultimately secondary to a good story well-told (and well-played). By that measure, this saga was satisfying in its own right."
Sadly, not as good as the first series.
mys_reader | Fort Worth, TX United States | 05/01/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Unlike other viewers, I don't mind when TV and movie adaptations are different from the books they are based on. As long as the CHARACTERS are not completely unrecognizable! Jon and Fleur are presented as Romeo and Juliet, star-crossed lovers. They weren't. In the books, it's made clear that like her father, Fleur is too selfish and possessive to be happy. Jon had doubts about her even before Soames came by and wrecked it. A few points that they got completely wrong:June did not hate Fleur. She felt rather sorry for the girl. In fact, June visited Fleur on her wedding day to wish her luck. Jon left the country to get on with his life after breaking off with Fleur. He did NOT wait around pining, or try to stop her from marrying Michael out of possessiveness. In fact, he sent her a letter with good wishes. Fleur held on to Jon's memory obsessively. Soames would NEVER have told Fleur about his rape of Irene. He was a Victorian. Not only would he not have spoken to his daughter about sexual matters, he never thought that he had done anything wrong. Irene was his wife back then, so it wasn't rape. Soames did not make peace with Irene directly. She left the country a few weeks after Fleur's wedding. They saw one another and she waved goodbye. A few points they got right. Fleur's "having nature". Annette's observation that Soames was ruining their daughter was right on the mark. I enjoyed Annette's characterization. The book shows very little of her interacting with her daughter. The scene with Soames and Irene. Some people complained about that. But the fact is, for the rest of his life, Soames continued to think of Irene as the cause of all his troubles. Fleur's hysteria when she realized that Jon was not coming to her. No, she didn't make a scene at Robin Hill in the original. When Soames came back home and told her that Jon had told him that it was "no good", she screamed at HIM, telling him that he had betrayed her. (Because for the first time in her life, Soames had failed to give her exactly what she wanted. It never occurred to her that he simply couldn't.)"