One of the aspects that make its story so striking is that an adaptation of a novel published in 1874, has a better handle on modern day, male-female dynamics than anything based or written in the recent past or present. There are no trite clichés or characters weakened for plot. This is a refreshing tale where the heroine is flawed, the hero truly noble and the outcome unpredictable.
'Far from the Madding Crowd' follows Bathsheba Everdeen (Carey Mulligan), a farm girl with a restless spirit, big ambitions and an immature heart. Over the course of a season spent working on her aunt’s property she develops a friendship with a neighboring shepherd, Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts). Readily besotted by the lively Miss Everdeen, he quickly proposes marriage and in her first bad decision, she turns him down and not in the softest way possible.
She explains her desire to not be caged by marriage and especially not to a man she does not believe can “tame” her. He withstands her rejection, calm yet wounded. Then a reversal of fortune changes their lives overnight; resetting the two on different societal footing when a new day dawns. Oak, having suffered a severe financial setback, moves on to parts unknown and Bathsheba, now an heiress, sets off to run her uncle’s farm.