October, 6th, 2014
The portrait of Mrs. Drover in the film The Demon Lover is not an accurate rendition of the character in the story by Elisabeth Bowen. This may be seen in a comparison of her film and fictional analyses of role, relationships, motive and goals, self-image and tone. Kathleen Drover is the protagonist, she has no real occupation, or at least, it is not mentioned, and she only is described as a middle-aged mother and a wife, as the following sentence suggests: “she married him, (…), her children were born, and they all lived till they were driven out by the bombs of the next year” (p162). She is an elegant person, she never removes her hat or gloves during the story and in the movie she has a pearl necklace, and wears make up. She actually is the embodiment of the elite social caste to which she belongs. I do not think she fulfills the ideals of her role, given that the demon lover is still part of her life and he still assaults and overwhelms her thoughts. In the movie, the scenes with William Dover are superficial: she, for example, tells him about two people she saw kissing when she was at the bedside window. In this scene, her smile is false, and she seems disproportionately upbeat for the situation, that allows us to think that she is not comfortable and natural in her relationship with her husband, but that she “plays” the role of the good wife and the good mother. The main relationship is the one with the Demon Lover, which appears unique, intense and haunting for her. Their relationship ends when the Demon Lover is sent to war. But it’s her that finally breaks the promise by marrying William Drover, so maybe it’s her fault if their relationship change. More than the short-story does, the movie really insists on the pact, with several close-up on the hands along the movie. The following sentences from the text seem quite relevant in the understanding of their relationship: “she already felt that...
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