The Red and the Black review

The best screen version of Stendhal’ s novel

A really great presented point of view, very strong role for Kim Rossi Stewart as Julien Sorel, but anyway his character was shown in a milder way than the way presented in the book, where he was more superficial and was empty for real feelings. Matilde in the book was much more spoilt and had no feelings for Julien, for her it was just a game to show her father that she’s in control of her life, anything she did in the book was wilfully with no affection, on the other hand Louise Renal was ready to sacrifice anything for him and to help him achieve anything he wanted, his love for her was fake in the beginning, he only wanted to see how far can go a woman from the high society which he always hated but always wanted to be a part of.

Romantic, passionate, and full of angst

It’s been a year or so since I saw this movie one night on tv, and I can’t get it out of my head. I’m a big fan of romantic period dramas, and this movie was amazingly romantic. I didn’t find it boring or drawn out the way some films of the genre tend to be. It was captivating and interesting. I found myself intrigued and allured by the actors. I could almost feel the emotions.. the lovelorn angst, the passion, the anger, etc. The character of Julien Sorel (played by Kim Rossi Stuart) was charming, mysterious and attractive, and it was impossible to look away from the screen during his scenes. I loved this movie and give it a 10. Hopefully it will air on tv again soon.

Kim is the Julien Sorel!!!

I must say Kim’s acting in “Rouge et le noir,Le “is perfect,and U can’t get him out of Ur mind.His emotional eyes,his smile,his way of acting…I bet any person saw him,he or she can’t forget him,especially his deep eyes!! I saw this TV for three or four times,the most unforgettable episode is Julien Sorel scolded & scoffed all the French society in the court!!! He’s Italian,play character Italian & French films just for simply pure art of film,so I adore him very much!!! Finally,I have to mention the dubber in this TV.I can’t comprehend the deep meaning of “Rouge et le noir,Le” if there’s no his excellent dubbing,full of passion!!! & his name is Wang Mingjun,a teacher of Beijing Broadcasting institute!!! If U’re Kim’ crazy fan,please e-mail me!!Thanx!!! 🙂

Excellent adaptation of a major novel

The French move Le rouge et le noir was shown in the U. S. with the translated title The Red and the Black (1997 TV Movie). It was co-written and directed by Jean-Daniel Verhaeghe. The film is closely based on the famous novel by Stendhal.

Kim Rossi Stuart does an excellent job as the protagonist Julien Sorel. He is from the lower classes, which in 1829, made it almost impossible to rise in the world. However, his intelligence and ambition bring him closer and closer to his goal.

As a young man, he is hired as a tutor by the mayor of a provincial town.

It’s there that he meets Mme. Renal, the mayor’s wife, and falls in love with her. Louise de Rénal is supposed to be a beautiful woman, so Carole Bouquet was typecast.

Julian moves to Paris, where he meets the beautiful daughter of a nobleman–Mathilde de la Môle, played by Judith Godrèche, also typecast.

All three lead performers do an admirable job, and the result is an excellent rendition of Stendhal’s classic. Truth in reviewing–I read the book and found it more tedious than it was interesting. The plot can’t be blamed on the director. He did a good job with the plot he was given.

If you like romantic-era novels, then you’ll like the book and the movie. If not, better to look somewhere else. The Red and the Black has a solid IMDb rating of 7.6. I thought it was somewhat better, and rated it 8.

The Red and the Black

Inspired by stories of Napoleon told by a retired army surgeon and taught Latin by a local curate, sawyer’s son Julien Sorel enjoys a meteoric rise and an even more rapid fall. His career provides a base from which Stendhal satirises French society, from small town bourgeoisie to clerics and feckless aristocrats, and probes the psychology of love and honour.
Julien first becomes tutor to the mayor’s children in a small town in the Alps. He has to negotiate the social and political rivalries of the status-obsessed mayor, his grasping commercial rivals, and various other dignitaries — while engaging in a love affair with the mayor’s wife, Madame de Renal. Escaping from there, he attends a provincial seminary where most of the students are peasants hankering after a better life and their teachers have their own problems.

Moving to Paris, Julien becomes confidential secretary to a nobleman and has to learn yet another set of social conventions as he integrates himself into the household and its circle of aristocratic hangers-on. He enters into an affair with his patron’s daughter, Mathilde, which he expedites by pretending to love another woman. There is a hint at a political intrigue when Julien becomes the courier for a group of conspirators, but that is a plot strand that goes nowhere. Finally an improbable plot device condemns Julien to prison and execution, bringing his two lovers together.

It is the two love affairs which are central to The Red and the Black. These have some drama — there is much climbing of ladders to reach windows — but the real appeal is in the psychology of the lovers and the dramatic ironies in their often vastly different interpretations of events. Madame de Renal and Mathilde are full players in the game of love, not just objects of Julien’s attraction, and Stendhal probes their thoughts and feelings accordingly. The minor female characters — Madame de Renal’s maidservant and friend, the waitress in a cafe, and even Mathilde’s mother — are also presented in a largely positive fashion, and Stendhal’s enlightened attitude to women is one aspect of the The Red and the Black which helps make it accessible to modern readers.

Although determined to make a name for himself and obsessed by honour, Julien himself is also an appealing character. And there are some splendid portraits among the minor characters. Its plotting has many awkwardnesses and its structure is far from satisfying formally, but The Red and the Black offers easy reading and good entertainment, with a lively story and memorable characters.

The Red and the Black is littered with references that assume knowledge of the historical context. Mostly these are not essential to the progress of the novel, however, so the approach of this edition, with endnotes discreetly marked in the text by small symbols in the margin, works well. There’s also a six page afterword with a brief analysis of the novel. An attractive hardcover, of a size most comfortable for reading, this is also an ergonomically and aesthetically pleasing volume.