Perhaps yes, perhaps no.
Posted by Mark on July 16, 1998 at 20:24:08:
In response to "Willoughby as a villain"--foreshadowing in the screenplay (way too long!), written by Barbara on July 16, 1998 at 17:02:28
- First of all, in the movie, there is clearly animosity between Willoughby and Brandon. Brandon first hears of Willoughby's acquaintance with the Dashwoods when he is visiting Marianne with the flowers. The way he says, "Lady Allen's nephew?" when Sir John mentions him has a lot of suspcion in the tone. Also, when the colonel and Willoughby meet outside on the path, it is clear that this is not the first time they have met and that they dislike each other. Willoughby knows who he is without being introduced. They seem to half-circle around each other (reminded me of a boxing ring) Willoughby keeps the flowers for Marianne behind his back--why? Did he swipe them from Sir John's field? Did his "spies" (the neighborhood is crawling with his spies) tell him that the colonel had arrived with flowers? Does he suspect that the colonel wishes to court Marianne? OR, does Willougby not want the colonel to see him paying romantic attentions to some other young girl?
- Later, when Willoughby arrives to pick up Marianne in his high-flyer after the invitation for the picnic has just been issued, he mentions that Colonel Brandon has a very fine pianoforte. Perhaps he heard this from his aunt, but it is a bit suspicious to me that he is familiar with the furniture in Delaford. A suggestion that Eliza told him?
Marianne couldn't have, because she has never been to Delaford at that point either.
- When the picnic is cancelled, and Willoughby is mimicing Mrs. Jennings, he says, "Come, come Mr. Impudence! I know you and your wicked ways!" Wicked ways??
- Then, Elinor asks him why he should dislike Colonel Brandon so much, and there is a rather significant pause before Willoughby comes up with his flippant answer.
- At the end of this scene as Marianne walks Willoughby to the road he says something like "I am _______ (moved, pleased??) that so fair and virtuous a lady should compromise her honour by accompanying me to the gate unattended."
Marianne replies "That sounds like something Elinor would say."
Willoughby says, "And she would be right."
- Perhaps the most telling of all is that Willoughby's "confession" scene, one of the best scenes in the book, is not in this film adaptation. Emma Thompson said it was because she felt it would detract from the Brandon/Marianne love story.
Interesting comments. First let me state my position visa vie the Brandon-Willoughby controversy. I think Marianne is infinitely better off -- as well as happier -- with Brandon.
That being said, I think you are reaching a tad. For example, your first point, their meeting with the flowers. Brandon had thought the field was clear. He was being very careful not let his hopes get too far up. Nevertheless, he thought there was no competition. Suddenly this young, virile rivel pops up. Of course he is going to be a little dis-concerted and a bit off balance for a minute or two until his composure can be restored.
The piano Willoughby has been visiting every year for who knows how long. We are dealing with a small country society here. I doubt if there are nearly the famous "four and twenty families" of Longborn and Meryton available. Willoughby would have visited and most likely heard the Colonel play.
The next three points certainly can be hints, but they are the sort of things a young man of good character, but with a wicked streak might say.
How the last point is a hint in the movie, I fail to understand. Perhaps you can enlighten me?
I will admit that the Colonel and Willoughby may not be the best of friends. But I doubt the Colonel knew anything concrete until after his hurried trip to London following the cancelled picnic. The seduction had occurred entirely outside his knowledge. He had no news of his ward. Then the express arrived stating they had found her, likely mentioning that she was "with child". I doubt such details as to who the bounder was who left her would be included in the express. It is possible, but I think not.
- Signals . . . (Yes, this one's long, too!) Mary Anne 22:11:54 7/16/98 (2)
Posting followups to old messages is disabled; instead go to the main index and post a new message which mentions this one.