The Scarlet Letter - *

Pitiful loose interpretation of the Nathaniel Hawthorne novel of adultery and its implications. Demi Moore portrays Hester Prynne. The movie opens as she arrives in the New World to purchase a house and prepare for her husband’s arrival. She meets the young and inspirational priest, Reverend Dimmesdale, and with whom, once learning that her husband’s ship has been lost, she begins to have a passionate affair. However, her husband Roger (Robert Duvall), did not die, and covertly arrives at the settlement. Unfortunately for Hester, her union with Dimmesdale produces a small child, Pearl, and she is branded as an adulteress in front of the entire village. And then the strange stuff starts…apparently the producers didn’t think that Hawthorne’s novel was complete, so they added witch trials, Indian raids, feministic ideals, and a politically correct happy ending. These useless and pitiful additions might have been tolerable if they were done well…but the whole product seems so crude and ham fisted that you wonder why they didn’t just leave good enough alone. The costumes and scenery are well done, yet Moore’s acting as well as the screenplay are so obviously contemporary that they destroy any illusion of time and place. The entire movie is simply a waste.

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