Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Movie Time: The Secret Garden

Some years ago, back before I became a full-time fairy artist and mommy, I used to have entire afternoons to myself (though believe me, I don't really miss it and am happier now with the fairies and the children—life has become ever much more interesting and full :)
    That said, one way I did enjoy whiling away an afternoon was going to the movies by myself.
There is just something undeniably magical about sitting alone in a darkened theater and becoming completely enveloped in world of the film.  Especially one as beautiful as the 1993 remake of  the classic story"The Secret Garden", directed by Agnieszka Holland  and produced by Frances Ford Coppola.

Loving all things victorian, of course I fell in love with the look of this film immediately.

And, being also a hopeless romantic, I was already in love with the story...

Mary Lennox (played byKate Maberly) is the lonely, neglected only child of a wealthy English couple living in India around the turn of the 20th century. Her mother and father are always busy and seemingly only care for themselves. One night during one of their frequent parties, an earthquake occurs and both of Mary’s parents are killed in the destruction.
Afterwards, Mary is sent by ship to England, where she is met by Mrs. Medlock ( played by Maggie Smith), the strict housekeeper of Misselthwaite Manor in Yorkshire.
Mrs. Medlock explains to Mary that her aunt (her mother's twin sister) died before she was born, so there is no mistress at Misselthwaite Manor and she will be living with her Uncle.
Upon her arrival at the Manor, she hears someone crying from a distant room, but all of the servants tell her it's nothing. 
On her first night at the manor, she discovers a secret door in her room that leads her to her aunt's rooms, which are kept exactly as they were during her life.  In a jewelry box in her sitting room she finds an ornate key.  

The next day when Mary is out in the fresh air , she discovers a hidden garden behind some overgrown ivy. One of the gardeners, Ben Weatherstaff (played by Walter Sparrow), tells her that there is no entrance because after the master’s wife died, Lord Craven gave orders to shut it off to everybody. Mary, driven to find out more about the garden, and remembering  the key she found in her late aunt’s bedroom,  discovers it fits the lock to the hidden door. 

Later that evening, determined to find out where the haunting crying sound is coming from, she discovers the room that belongs to her sickly cousin, Colin Craven ( played by Heydon Prowse), who is the son of Lord Craven and master of the house during his absence. Colin who is exactly the same age as Mary, has lived in bed his entire life and is unable to walk.

Colin and Mary get to know each other very well and become friends.

Soon, Mary persuades Colin that the fresh air is safe, and she and Dickon take him outside in his wheelchair to see the secret garden that they have been trying to restore. Mary and Dickon ultimately teach Colin to stand up and walk, but they decide that Lord Craven should be the first to see Colin walking, so they conceal the secret from the others.

One night, Mary takes Colin and Dickon to the garden to perform magic to bring back Lord Craven.
The spell causes Lord Craven to have a dream about his late wife in the secret garden with Colin. Alarmed and terrified, he rushes back to Misselthwaite Manor to find him.

He goes into the secret garden to find Colin walking quite well now. With Mary (certain that no one wants her anymore) running away, Lord Craven persuades her that she is truly a wanted person. Soon, Mary has learned to cry for the first time, and Lord Craven has regained his son and allowed himself to fall in love with him.

The film ends with Dickon riding over the Yorkshire countryside on his horse, as the world zooms out around him. Mary speaks of her uncle's learning to laugh, and her learning to cry .. and we are taught that if you look at it the right way,  the whole world is a Garden :)


1 comment:

  1. I fell in Love with your blog!!! Thankyou for the remembrance of happy memories; the Secret Garden was my favorite book as a child. I also enjoyed this enchanting movie. :)