I watched several movies over the course of 3 months, however I was most struck by the title “I Capture the Castle”. The 2003 film is an adaptation of the novel of the same name written by Dodie Smith in the 1940’s. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the e-version of the book, hence I watched the film first. Not what I ideally like to do.
The film is set in the early 1920’s and is about a poor English family of 5 and one help hand, who live in a rundown old castle and are barely able to survive because the head of the house, an author, has had writer’s block for 12 whole years and cannot write a single word.
This highly dysfunctional family are paid a visit on a stormy night, by two rich American brothers, Simon and Neil Cotton whose family owns the castle. The eldest daughter Rose tries to woo the eldest brother Simon into marrying her even though she doesn’t fancy him so that she can get away from such a shabby existence and also help her family get back onto their feet again. Simon’s brother, Neil (played by one of my favorites Marc Blucas), is always at sparring ends with Rose.
The movie is narrated through the thoughts and journal entries of the middle child, Cassandra, a 17 year old girl who falls in love with Simon.
I found this film very entertaining. Not only does it have the right romantic and comical elements but it is very picturesque. The old charming castle set in the English countryside makes for a visual treat for fans of period films. Yes, it is not completely light-hearted particularly after Cassandra falls in love with her sister’s fiance and tries to keep her distance. Also the family’s frustration has its moments because the father is unable to support them and idles his time away in his study.
The help hand Stephen (played by Henry Cavill, whom I just discovered is playing the hottie Superman in the upcoming “Man of Steel”) is in love with Cassandra. Hence, there is more than a neat little triangle going on. Simon who fancies Rose, Cassandra who fancies Simon and Stephen who fancies Cassandra.
When you watch the film, you’ll easily predict what happens towards the end. However, the final scene remains open. All in all, a charming, satisfactory watch.