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The Scarlet Flower 1952 Soviet Animated Movie: What To Like And Dislike About The Beast?

Monday, November 28, 2016 No comments:
I’d put a possible spoilers warning here, but, if you know about the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale or the Disney version, then you’ll already know about this part of the movie that this article will talk about since the 1952 Soviet animated film The Scarlet Flower (Аленький цветочек, Alenkiy Tsvetochek in Russian) is based on said fairytale though there are differences.

The Beast in The Scarlet Flower does not get angry without reason

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I thought that the Beast in this story was an okay character, but he wasn’t perfect.

I like how he didn’t have any anger management issues unlike the Beast in the Disney version (remember the times he would shout and growl and just generally be angry about a lot of things?) because it makes it slightly less unbelievable that the 'Beauty' in the story (in The Scarlet Flower, that would be Nastenka) would eventually fall in love with him.

The Beast isn’t perfect

But I didn’t like the way that he was trying to guilt-trip Nastenka into staying with him in his island. The Beast said things like, "You can use the ring to return home," and then, when Nastenka was actually considering doing so, he added, "But, remember, your father promised (pertaining to how either the dad, Stefan, or one of his 3 daughters would return to stay with the Beast)."

That caused Nastenka to stay in the island. Later on, when she accidentally saw the Beast and how ugly he looked, he told her to "use the ring and leave, go away from me because I have scared you," but then he added that "if you leave, I will die of grief." So, of course, she didn’t leave.

I know part of the reason why she stayed was because she is a really kind and good-hearted person and because she was starting to see the Beast as a friend, but I still didn’t like how she was guilt-tripped into staying. What do you think about this?

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki (CC:BY-SA) based on the image by hayashinomura (CC:BY-SA) from deviantArt
- Flowers in the image are meant to symbolize the scarlet flower and the scary-looking figure is meant to represent the Beast
- YouTube video features a scene from said film

How The Conflict 1945 Movie Scares You Into Thinking That A Character Is Going To Die?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 No comments:
(*Warning for possible spoilers for Conflict, a black-and-white suspense film noir made by Warner Brothers)

Conflict (1945) is a murder mystery featuring the story of a man who kills his own wife. Has he managed to commit the perfect crime or will he be caught in the end? One of the scenes in this movie might have you worrying for the safety of one of the characters as you fear that the criminal or the killer might commit yet another murder.

Reason to kill your own wife

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Richard Mason (played by Humphrey Bogart), an engineer, murdered his wife, Kathryn Mason (played by Rose Hobart), because he was in love with Evelyn Turner (played by Alexis Smith), Kathryn’s younger sister.

After Kathryn’s death, Richard should have been free to court Evelyn, but many events occur that seem to indicate that his wife was still very much alive.

Does Evelyn know what happened to her sister in Conflict?

Just when you think that that was really the case, other incidents happen in the Conflict movie that now seem to indicate that Evelyn was the one responsible for making it look like her older sister was still alive.

For example, she actually has the same perfume as Kathryn, which can explain why Richard gets a whiff of the scent in his bedroom even though this should not have been possible since his wife was supposedly already dead. This and other such events make it seem as if Turner knew what Richard did to her sister and is now trying to scare him or something.


Is Richard planning to kill Evelyn?

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When Richard sees this connection, he immediately heads over to where Evelyn was to confront her about it. He finds her packing and getting ready to leave. While the 2 are talking, she gets a phone call, but it is the engineer who answers it.

It’s the driver that Evelyn sent for. Richard sends this driver away as he insisted on being the one to drive Turner to wherever she wanted to go.

She protests this and is reluctant to have the engineer drive her, telling him that he shouldn’t have sent the driver away. She came across as being suspicious, scared and apprehensive with how reluctant she was to let Richard drive her.

Combine that with how Mason kept insisting that he would drive her and with how he pretty much didn’t give her a choice on the matter, it really seemed like the engineer was planning something sinister. I thought that he was going to murder Evelyn just like how he killed his own wife.

This is further reinforced when we hear Evelyn Turner telling Richard to please be careful in driving since the roads can be dangerous.

She sounds really scared, so the audience might start fearing for her life and her safety with Richard right next to her and sitting on the driver’s side of the car as the 2 are getting ready to leave.

However, before they can leave, Richard gets a phone call. He leaves the car and tells Evelyn to wait for him as he goes to answer said phone call. I thought Turner could use this opportunity to leave or drive away before Mason could get to her. Of course, things actually happen differently as we soon find out.

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki based on the image by Rusembell (CC:BY) from deviantArt
- Image of the car is meant to represent the part in the Conflict movie wherein we see Evelyn and Richard in a car and they’re about to drive off when the latter is called away to answer a phone call
- Second pic is from Amazon.com; link shown above
- YouTube video features the Conflict movie trailer

The Scarlet Flower 1952 Soviet Animated Movie: How Much Should You Sacrifice For The 1 You Love?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 No comments:
(Warning: possible spoilers for the 1952 Soviet animated film The Scarlet Flower (Аленький цветочек, Alenkiy Tsvetochek in Russian))

The Scarlet Flower is based on a story with the same name, however, both film and story are actually a variation or retelling of the fairytale of the Beauty and the Beast with some differences.

In this particular article, I’d like to focus on one of the characters in this movie that I found very likable and admirable. This is Stefan, a merchant with three daughters. Before leaving on a trip, he asked his children what gifts they wanted him to bring back for them when he returned.

the scarlet flower, 1952 soviet animated movie, film

A father willingly searches for practically impossible things as gifts for his 3 daughters

Even though they didn’t exactly ask him for things that could easily be obtained (yes, even the youngest daughter’s request for the scarlet flower wasn’t exactly easy to find), he didn’t complain or tell them that he can’t get them those things.

He left on his trip, and, alongside doing his business, he also took the time to find the gifts that his daughters wanted. When he finished with his job and when he’d found the gifts his two older daughters had asked for, he refused to go back home because he still hadn’t found the scarlet flower that Nastenka, his youngest daughter, wanted.

How Stefan shows that he really loves and cares about his daughters?

All this really shows that he loves his daughters very much. But if that’s not enough proof for you, well, that’s all right because Stefan does so much more that can easily prove just how much a father can love his children.

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Stefan soon gets stranded on a strange and mysterious island where he eventually finds The Scarlet Flower that his youngest wants. It was a mistake to take this flower though, as he soon found out, because the one who inhabited this island was a scary and horrible-looking Beast.

A father willing to die for his daughters

The Beast gave Stefan a choice: either he stayed on the island and be killed or he send one of his daughters in his place. When this choice was given to him, Stefan didn’t even need to think twice about it. He immediately gave a resounding 'no.'

This act was even more admirable because his refusal to let one of his daughters stay with the Beast would mean his death. He didn’t care about dying as long as his daughters were unharmed.

The Beast eventually gave him a magical ring that would allow whoever was wearing it to return to the island. He let Stefan leave with the promise that either he or one of his daughters would return. Stefan willingly bears the burden that should have been imposed on his daughters.

Once back in his house and with his daughters, Stefan gave them their gifts, but he didn’t tell them about his encounter with the Beast. He could have told them and he could have asked one of them to take his place. In fact, he could have made Nastenka go, since, if you really look at it, it was her fault that her father got into this mess in the first place (Stefan obviously wouldn’t be going around picking random flowers if his daughter hadn’t wanted one).

However, Stefan loved his children too much to do any of that, so he told them nothing and kept his troubles to himself. He was heading to his death and yet the only thing he could think about were his daughters and their welfare.

He entrusted them to his friend, so that there would be someone who would look after them even with him gone. Stefan is really one likable and admirable father who genuinely and sincerely loves his children very much and is ready to sacrifice himself and do all that he can for their sake.

And I find it wonderful how a pretty short film was able to develop Stefan’s character and personality enough for viewers to like him and feel for him even though he’s not really the main focus of The Scarlet Flower movie.

If there’s one flaw that can be said about Stefan, it might be how Nastenka is so obviously his favorite daughter and that he clearly loves her more than her two older sisters. But, then again, considering how greedy, selfish and materialistic those two were as well as the things that they did, it’s a wonder why anyone would care about them.

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki (CC:BY-SA) based on the image by mikanxsakura (CC:BY-SA) from deviantArt
- Image is meant to symbolize Stefan and Nastenka

- Second pic is from Amazon.com; link shown above
- YouTube video features a scene from The Scarlet Flower

Reasons Why Conflict 1945 Murder Mystery Movie Is Different And Unique?

Thursday, November 10, 2016 No comments:
(*Warning for possible spoilers for Conflict, a 1945 black-and-white suspense film noir made by Warner Brothers)

Conflict (1945) is a movie that belongs to the mystery genre. To be more precise, it’s a murder mystery. But what makes this film interesting, unique and original is how it differs from the formula of other mysteries out there.

Plot of a usual murder mystery

Usually, when you watch a mystery movie or read a mystery novel, a crime will happen, such as a murder, and the challenge is trying to figure out who the culprit is as we follow the story of the protagonist, such as a detective or police officer, tasked with solving the mystery.

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We see the main character looking for clues and trying to decipher them, interpret them and understand them.

He or she will consider all the suspects, looking for the motive for the crime, etc until we eventually find out who the culprit is.

How Conflict’s plot differs from the usual?

But in the Conflict movie, it’s different. We already know who the culprit is as we practically saw Richard Mason (played by Humphrey Bogart), one of the main characters, kill Kathryn Mason (played by Rose Hobart), his wife. So, now, the question is not who killed the victim and who the culprit is, but on what happens after the crime.


Questions Conflict makes us ask

Instead of having the audience try to figure out who the killer is from a list of possible suspects, we’re now left wondering what will happen after Richard killed his wife as we are presented with many other questions that need to be answered.

Will Richard get caught? Will people, the police, his friends, Kathryn’s sister, Evelyn Turner (played by Alexis Smith), find out what Richard did or can he actually get away with it?

Was Richard able to pull off a perfect crime? And what about the victim, Richard’s wife? Is she really dead?

Or could she have possibly, somehow, survived what Richard did to her? This is what makes said 1945 murder mystery movie interesting, different and unique.

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki based on the image by Rusembell (CC:BY) from deviantArt
- Image is meant to represent how Richard killed his own wife, Kathryn
- YouTube video features the Conflict (1945) movie trailer

The Scarlet Flower 1952 Soviet Animated Movie: How To Keep Characters Consistent?

Friday, November 4, 2016 No comments:
(Warning: possible spoilers for the 1952 Soviet animated film The Scarlet Flower (Аленький цветочек, Alenkiy Tsvetochek in Russian))

Also known as, "How to stop your characters from being OOC (out of character)?" In The Scarlet Flower movie, which is loosely based on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, the female main character, named Nastenka, has 2 older sisters. This article focuses on the two women and their personalities.

The 2 older sisters of Nastenka – selfish and greedy doesn’t begin to cover them

the scarlet flower, 1952 Soviet animated movie, film, out of character, ooc
From the very beginning of the film, it was already established that these 2 girls are materialistic, greedy and selfish and very, very different from their youngest sister.

It’s in the way that they asked for a crown and a mirror with all the bells and whistles as gifts from their father.

It’s in the way they didn’t seem to care about their family but themselves and how they were so enamored with their expensive presents. Anyway, we soon leave these two as Nastenka goes to the island where the Beast is.

Nastenka returns home to see her family

Later on, she returns home to see her family. Understandably, she missed them all. Her father, Stefan, missed her as well. He calls his two other daughters, telling them that their youngest sister has returned. The two women come running to where Nastenka and their father are.

Do you think Nastenka’s sisters actually missed her?

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At first, it may seem as if the two are actually glad to see their youngest sister, that they actually missed her and are looking forward to seeing her again and that’s why they’re running and not looking displeased at being called by their father.

That would be odd and strange and would certainly be out of character for them. But, thankfully, none of that happens.

They’re still very much in character and you can see that right away the moment they open their mouths and come face-to-face with Nastenka.

They take her hands and hold on to them as they look at her, but it isn’t because they missed her or anything like that at all. It’s because they saw her new clothes and they wanted to get a better look at how beautiful and wonderful said clothes are.

Nastenka’s sisters are too selfish and self-centered to care about her

They didn’t even have the decency to hug her even though they hadn’t seen her in quite a while. When Nastenka saw her father again, the 2 didn’t have any qualms embracing each other and yet her 2 older sisters couldn’t even spare the time to hug her briefly.

They didn’t even bother to ask her how she was. Instead, they asked her if she brought gifts for them, implying that they would have been angry if she came back empty-handed.

The moment they saw the chests full of gifts in front of them, all their attention was taken away from Nastenka. It’s like they practically forgot that she was there as they focused on looking at the new things that they’d gotten. This definitely reinforces just how greedy, selfish and materialistic they were.

They didn’t even need to say anything to show their personalities. Their actions, what they did and what they didn’t do, the simple act of not hugging their own sister, those things are more than enough to keep them in character and to show exactly what kind of people Nastenka’s sisters are. What do you think?

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki (CC:BY-SA) based on the image by hayashinomura (CC:BY-SA) from deviantArt
- Flowers in the image are meant to symbolize The Scarlet Flower and the figure is meant to represent the 2 older sisters of Nastenka since she doesn’t look or seem nice either
- YouTube video features a scene from said movie
- Second pic is from Amazon.com; link shown above