|Me in my blogging hat|
I have encountered an issue: I am doing a disservice to the show with all of my research. As I mentioned previously, I am playing Deputy Bud Russel in Bonnie and Clyde. However, the more time I spend reading about him and trying to find out what his interactions with Clyde were like, the more I question his part in the show. Deputy Bud is no longer Bud Russel; instead, he's a stand-in for any and all officers the Barrow Gang dealt with. I'm not one cop; I'm every cop. It's kind of a blow to the ego knowing you're a real person but not being able to use any of that person's story to develop the character.
In other news, I reserved several books and movies from the library just to get an understanding of why Bonnie and Clyde were so revered. The first book has proven to be quite the challenge: "My Life with Bonnie & Clyde" by Blanche Caldwell Barrow. For those that are unaware of who this woman is, Blanche is Clyde's sister-in-law. Married to his elder brother Marvin "Buck" Barrow, Blanche stood by her husband's side and joined the Barrow Gang for a short time. While she outlived the rest of the gang, the book primarily concerns her time with them. Potentially a perfect insight to their world, right? I would tend to agree, if I could make it past the 10th page. I've been trying to read the book for a week, and I still haven't made it through the Editor's Preface. However, at the end of the book, the editor has put together a remarkable amount of data concerning the Barrow Gang, including an appendix of every victim that died at their hands. According to the information presented in the appendix, neither Blanche nor Bonnie killed anyone, which strikes me as odd. My goal is to at least finish the first chapter by Wednesday. Wish me luck.
Sadly, the first movie I watched did not seem to be a good source for information. A&E's mini-series "Bonnie & Clyde" premiered some time in the past year, and many thought it would be a success. While I will admit I enjoyed it, and there were some nice parallels between the movie and the musical, it made me angry with its depiction of the titular duo. Emile Hirsch was wonderful as Clyde, and there was a lot of focus on his relationship with brother Buck and parents Henry and Cumie Barrow. It deeply humanized him, which I thought was nice. There was still plenty of hero worship about Capone and all, but more of the focus was just trying to escape the life he was leading. Holliday Grainger was a fantastic Bonnie, as well. To me, she took the title in hand and ran with it; what I mean by this is she relished in being the center of attention, finally becoming the "It Girl" that she had always dreamed of. Plus, her and Hirsch had remarkable chemistry, and it was a joy to watch them together.
Other good things: William Hurt as Texas Ranger Frank Hamer. He was absolutely relentless in his pursuit of the two, and it was a nice change from Hamer in the Warren Beatty/Faye Dunaway film. Also, Sarah Hyland was an oddly nice Blanche. It was apparent she was there for Buck, not necessarily for the glamour and glory.
Now, the things that were bad/strange:
- Clyde has ESP, which saves them on several occasions from Hamer's forces
- Bonnie is depicted as the driving force of all the crimes, almost as if she were playing Clyde for the sap.
- Bonnie kills several people, with no showing of remorse. It almost sickened me at times.
- The Big One: Clyde sets up the ambush that slaughters Bonnie and himself.
In conclusion....I still may buy this movie, even though it made me angry. My next movie should be better: a pair of History Channel documentaries examining the criminals AND the law men who chased them down. This may end up helping me with Deputy Bud, and what not.
PS: I found the original demo recording of Bonnie and Clyde, before it even played La Jolla. Since it's a Frank Wildhorn musical, most of Bonnie's stuff is sung by Linda Eder. Thankfully, Brandi Burkhardt sang "Short-Order World", an interesting up-tempo cut from the show.