MEME: From Helios to Hollywood – The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Count of Monte Cristo is, in my opinion, the most well written revenge story ever penned. I read the book YEARS and YEARS ago and I loved the story then. In 2002 I saw the movie and fell in love with the story all over again. However, if you’re a big fan of the book, you may not be sold on the movie as there are some things in the book that are changed or left out all together – character relationships, a few events and the ending is a little different. If you can get by those minor changes, the film is an excellent adaptation.
The film version has an perfect cast!
Richard Harris stars as Priest.
If you’re not familiar with the name, you may recognize him as the original Albus Dumbledore in the first few Harry Potter movies. Unfortunately, Mr. Harris passed away and was replaced in that role by Sir Michael Gambon, who did an excellent job. As Priest, Harris was breathtaking. His acting ability shone by portraying Priest’s wisdom and dry humor better than anyone else would have been able to.
Jim Caviezel portrays Edmond Dantes.
Mr. Caviezel is an actor that I never really paid much attention to prior to this movie. I had seen him in a few other roles here and there but nothing that really stood out to me. And no, I have never seen The Passion of the Christ. His version of Edmond Dantes is genuinely convincing. He did an awesome job.
There are lots of other great actors in this movie but those two are my favorites. The team who put this film together brought an awesome tale of a sweet, simple man who was beaten down and then rose above all odds to take his revenge in those who ruined his life. Edmond starts out as a lower class nobody with no real education to speak of but a good, kind heart to make up for it. He takes the fall for something he didn’t do so that his “betters” can get off free and clear. While in Chateau d’If (an island prison off the coast of France), he meets Priest, a highly educated and highly skilled man with grand plans of escape and the ability to breathe free air again. Priest educates Edmond and coaches him through figuring out who set him up. Just before passing away, Priest reveals that he is the sole person who knows where a treasure of great riches is hidden and confesses the location before passing away. Edmond uses those riches to lay out an elaborate plan for revenge. Along the road, he meets a great cast of characters that I grew to love.
I will NEVER get sick of this story. Some people find the book a little difficult to read. I didn’t but I can tell you that it does take some patience. If you find that you have trouble reading the book, watch the movie and then go back to the book. The hard to pronounce words become clear and you’ll find it easier to get through.