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Old 10-04-2010, 08:49 PM   #294
Jasi
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**Spoiler alert: don't read the characters' descriptions if you intend to read the novel**

Bernardo Bertolucci
1988 Academy Award for Best Director
1988 Academy Award for Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

directs
a Jasi production
Costume Design - the creator of Blade Runner, Gladiator, Alien, Robin Hood: Ridley Scott
Photography - Vittorio Storaro (3 times Academy Award winner, one with Bertolucci)
Music - Vangelis (1982 Academy Award winner for Chariots of Fire)


Fëdor Dostoevskij's
The Brothers Karamazov



with

Gerard Depardieu as Fyodor Karamazov

The father, Fyodor Pavlovich, is a 55-year-old "sponger" and buffoon who had sired three sons during the course of his two marriages. He is also rumored to have fathered an illegitimate son whom he employed as his servant. Fyodor took no interest in any of his sons. As a result, they were all raised apart from each other and their father. The murder of Fyodor and the ensuing implication of his oldest son provides much of the plot in the movie.


Sean Penn as Dmitri Karamazov

Dmitri is Fyodor's eldest son and the only offspring of his first marriage. Dmitri is a sensualist much like his father, and the two men's personalities often clash. Dmitri spends large amounts of money on debauchery-filled nights with plenty of champagne, women, and whatever entertainment and stimulation money can buy, soon exhausting any source of cash he comes across. This leads to further conflict with his father, who he believes is withholding his rightful inheritance, and his lack of money will cast suspicion upon him in the murder investigation. He finally comes to the brink of murdering his father when they begin fighting over the same woman, Grushenka. He is close to Alyosha, referring to him as his "cherub".


John Malkovic as Ivan Karamazov

Ivan is the middle son and first by Fyodor's second marriage. He is a fervent rationalist, disturbed especially by the apparently senseless suffering in the world, depicted as intelligent to the point of giftedness. As he says to Alyosha, "It's not God that I don't accept, Alyosha, only I most respectfully return him the ticket."
From an early age, Ivan is sullen and isolated from everyone around him. He carries a hatred for his father that is not openly expressed but which leads to his own moral guilt over Fyodor's murder and contributes to his later mental illness. His father tells Alyosha that he feared Ivan more than Dmitri. Some of the most memorable and acclaimed passages of the novel (and of the movie) involve Ivan, his "poem" "The Grand Inquisitor", and his nightmare of the devil.
After the murder of Fyodor Pavlovich, Ivan becomes convinced, partly due to the influence of Smerdyakov, that he was responsible for his father's death. By the end of the book, Ivan has become mentally unstable.



Jude Law as Alyosha Karamazov

Aleksey is the youngest of the Karamazov brothers. At the outset of the events chronicled in the story he is a novice in the local monastery. In this way Alyosha's beliefs act as a counterbalance to his brother Ivan's atheism. He is sent out into the world by his Elder and subsequently becomes embroiled in the sordid details of his family's dysfunction. Alyosha's place in the novel is usually that of a messenger or witness to the actions of his brothers and others. He is very close to Dmitri.


Tim Roth as Pavel Smerdyakov

Smerdyakov was born of "Stinking Lizaveta", a mute woman of the street. He is widely rumored to be the illegitimate son of Fyodor Karamazov. When the novel begins, Smerdyakov is Fyodor's lackey and cook. He is morose, sullen, and epileptic. As a child he would collect stray cats so he could hang and later bury them. Smerdyakov is aloof with most people but holds a special admiration for Ivan and shares his atheistic ideology. He later confesses to Ivan that he, and not Dmitri, was the murderer of Fyodor and claims to have acted with Ivan's blessing. However, Dmitri's defense attorney pointed out that in speaking with Smerdyakov, he found him to be "falsely naive" and able to tell people what they want to hear in order to subtly foist ideas on them.


Faye Dunaway as Grushenka Svetlova

Grushenka is the local Jezebel and has an uncanny charm among men. She inspires complete admiration and lust in both Fyodor and Dmitri Karamazov. Their rivalry for her affection is one of the most damaging circumstances that leads to Dmitri's conviction for his father's murder. She seeks to torment and then deride both Dmitri and Fyodor as a wicked amusement, a way to inflict upon others the pain she has felt at the hands of her ‘former and indisputable one’. However, after she begins a friendship with Alyosha, and as the book progresses, she begins to tread a path of spiritual redemption through which emerges hidden qualities of gentleness and generosity, though her fiery temper and pride are still within her.


Ian McKellen as Father Zosima

Father Zosėma is an Elder and more importantly starets in the town monastery and Alyosha's teacher. He is something of a celebrity among the townspeople for his reputed prophetic and healing abilities. His popularity inspires both admiration and jealousy amidst his fellow monks. Zosima provides a refutation to Ivan's atheistic arguments and helps to explain Alyosha’s character, incarnating the main voice of wisdom of the story.

Last edited by Jasi : 10-04-2010 at 09:04 PM.
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