Friday, April 5, 2013

Basil by Wilkie Collins

Basil by Wilkie Collins

It had been a while since I had read a book as gripping as Basil. I couldn't and didn't want to stop reading even for a second and longed to know how it all ended.
I had to know.
Wilkie Collins's characters were so alive, so real, that I couldn't help fearing for Basil, thinking what would happen when his father learnt about Basil's horrible disobedience.
It was a story of a young man and his first love, and how he gives up everything for that love, and loses everything.
From the first pages it was obvious that something was amiss with Basil's beautiful fiancé, but the revelation was worse I could have thought.
Basil was probably one of the most naive characters I had ever come across to. His decisions were mostly silly and impulsive, but his naivety was due to his young age, and so the reader can only sympathize with him and his pangs.
Basil falls in love with a girl he sees for the first time in his life, and blinded by the burning affection, he easily becomes a puppet in the hands of the villain of the book, who has his reasons for hating Basil and his family, and who will not stop at anything to destroy them.
Even death would not stop that man. He was described so well, that his presence, his words, his face gave me chills.
Though this was a short read, still each character had personality and was developed fully:
the father was merciless,
the brother was somehow eccentric,
the sister was an angel, and I loved Basil's tenderness towards her,
Basil’s dear Margaret’s parents were quite interesting, too: the father was greedy yet pathetic; the mother was an unhappy, ignored woman.

Margaret was cunning, but she was nothing compared to Robert Mannion and his scheming mind.

And Basil, ah, poor, poor Basil. How in love he was. How naïve he was.

I loved this book. Every page of it. It’s been a month since I have read it, but I still can’t forget it.

The movie:

Yet another movie with a beautiful score. Absolutely loved it.
But the story was changed a lot. I could never understand the reasons for such changes. Surely the movie cannot be a copy of the book, but still I think the story was already so interesting that there was no need to change the reason behind Robert Mannion’s revenge, or make him Basil’s friend when in the book he hated the man from the first time they met, or change the sister’s character and turn her into a love interest for Basil.

Jared Leto stars as Basil. This actor has such an innocent look that for me he was Basil from the very beginning.
Overall, I liked the movie. Not as much as the book, but being a fan of the era helped a lot.

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