My Cousin Rachel

22Jan10

Back when I first started writing reviews, I watched this very dramatic old movie which was almost worth watching up until the last five minutes, when you discovered the twist ending. Now, most twist endings, you find out that something horrible actually happened, or someone you liked was actually evil.

However, in this twist ending, you find out that the villain of the piece might actually have been good and angelic all along. Maybe. Maybe not. Probably not. But maybe.

This is the review I wrote.

I would like to perform a dramatic retelling of the movie in five minutes, much better than actually watching the movie, and you’ll get all the important points, I promise. *ahem*

Young Hero! *has been raised by his uncle, who leaves England and goes to Italy, for his health*
Uncle: *meets a beautiful woman, a second cousin of theirs, who is also a widow! marries her!*
Young Hero: *feels neglected and misses his sugar daddy uncle*
Uncle: *writes to YH a VERY STRANGE LETTER about how the cousin (Rachel) is killing him and sekritly EVILS*
YH: O noes! *immediately travels to Italy!*
Strange servant: Sry, he not here. He ded.
YH: NOT POSSIBL.
Doctor: Sry, he not here. He ded. Was brain tumor. He crazy.
YH: BUT THESE LETTERS. THEY SAY CONSPIRACY.
Doctor: He crazy. Look, I show you in respected medical textbook. C-R-A-Z-Y.
YH: BUT.
Doctor: You doctor? I not think so. Crazy. *suspicious look* Mebbe it hereditary.
YH: *retreats to England with much angst* It’s not conspiracy! She killed him! *emo teers!*

*A week passes*

Rachel: O HAI I JUST PASSIN THRU ENGLAND HERE.
Rachel: Y look, I’m young and pretty. Well, relatively young. Let’s say thirty, shall we? Maybe thirty five.
Rachel: And I’m very, very saintly.
YH: *suspicious face* YOU HERE TO STEEL MY FORTUNE.
Rachel: Very, very saintly.
YH: O rly?
Rachel: *halo*
YH: You know, you’re kind of hot.
Rachel: Don’t you have a girlfriend?
YH: She’s so young. Naive. Not even legal yet. I’m twenty-five, and oh, how I yearn for someone… experienced.
Rachel: Oh my hero! *swoonykiss*
YH: Oh Rachel! *swoonykiss*

*one week later*

YH: I’m putting all of my possessions half in Rachel’s name. Equal ownership of everything.
Servant: … Is that wise?
YH: WISE NOTHING. THIS IS LOVE.
Servant: Uh. Isn’t she a little old for you? Also, isn’t that kind of incest by several different paths, falling for your uncle’s ex-wife who is also your second cousin?
YH: My uncle… he would have wanted it. His beloved wife…
Servant: … but the will left everything to you. And he said he hated her.
YH: DAMN THE WILL. DAMN THE LETTERS. IT’S MY MONEY AND I’M GIVING IT TO HER.

*one week later*

YH: Rachel, I’m giving you everything, oh, Rachel, I love you.
Rachel: HOMG SHINY JEWELS.
YH: O RACHEL I LOVE YOU MARRY ME.
Rachel: OH DUMB HERO BOY I SWOON INTO YOUR ARMS BUT SAY NOTHING SPECIFIC OR INCRIMINATING.

*later that evening*

YH: I’d like to announce my engagement. To Rachel.
YH’s Underage Girlfriend: WHAT.
Rachel: … I never agreed to that.
YH: But. ;_;
Rachel: I has your money now. ^_^
YH: But! ;_; *EMOFACE*
YH: BUT I LOVE YOU. NEVER LEAVE ME. *STORMY*
Rachel: … dude you crazy.

*one week later*

YH: *MYSTERIOUSLY ILL*
YH: *MUCH LIKE HIS UNCLE*
YH: *HALLUCINATES LOVELY WHITE WEDDING WITH RACHEL*
Rachel: … *gives him herbal tisanes every day. for health. rly.*

*three months later*

YH: *gets better!*
Rachel: O, btw, darling, now that you’re well, I’m leaving and going back to Italy. With my half the money.
YH: But! I love you! Were we married or was I just hallucinating?
Rachel: Hallucinating. Sorry. I appreciate the money, but, uh, incest.
YH: *suspicious monologues* But was she trying to kill me? The Herbal tisanes! Poison! All an evil plot to kill me and make off with my money. Just like my uncle! *BROODY*

*on the day of Rachel’s departure*

Servant: Oh, btw, sir, the bridge over the chasm needs to be replaced. The timbers rotted overnight. It’s not safe to walk on. Instant death, you know.
YH: Yes, yes. Now, if only I can get into Rachel’s chambers while she’s out, I can find that letter written to her by her lover. And I’ll have proof of her evil! Muahaha!
Rachel: Honeybunches? I’m just going to step out for a moment, over the chasm to the second garden, okay snookums?
YH: Yes darling. Over the chasm. Hee hee hee.
Rachel: La la la over the chasm~! To collect pretty flowers! And poison to kill my second cousin ex-husband’s nephew who has been conveniently recovered to misdirect the suspicion of my poisoning him, even though this doesn’t logically explain why I didn’t kill him and make off with the money! Yay pretty flowers!
YH: Quickly, my underage girlfriend! while she’s out, we pillage her underwear drawer!
Underage Girlfriend: … Maybe this whole crazy thing IS hereditary.
YH: *raids her underwear drawer and finds a letter! from her Italian lover! suspiciously in English!*
YH: It says… she loves me! She always loved me! OH NO! OH, RACHEL! WAIT, RACHEL, WAIT! DON’T CROSS THAT CHASM!
Rachel: *ded. in the chasm*
YH: NOOOOOOOOOO.

*one week later, on the cliffs of dover or some such, looking very dramatic and broody*

YH: OH RACHEL. Were you guilty or were you innocent? I’LL NEVER KNOW. MY RACHEL. MY ANGEL. WAIT FOR ME IN HEAVE–HEL–PURGATORY, RACHEL.

(He actually promises to meet her in purgatory. While being dramatic on the cliffs.)

Personally, I think she was evil AND he was crazy.

Thanks for attending today’s Not-Quite-Masterpiece Theater! We hope you enjoyed your visit to the world of the movies that never made it into the realm of memorable classics. Drop in again next week for that 1950s classic, Little Miss Missy, or, Why Rebelling Against Patriarchally Approved Values and the Production Code RUINED MY LIFE, Oh How I Hope that the Women of America Will not Follow in My Example.

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One Response to “My Cousin Rachel”

  1. 1 squawk

    Saw the film and liked it—the cousin had been scheming all along to get her hands on the uncle’s inheritance, but yeah, the ending is quite intriguing. Nice old-school Gothic drama (I love those) and it was cool to see a young Richard Burton in his first American film, on top of that. .


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