Watch the trailer of The Beguiled  : ‘Pain, Pleasure and Bad Marketing’
John Burney : Well, this does seem like a good occasion, and I would love some wine.
Martha Farnsworth : It was offered for your pain, not for your pleasure!
John Burney: To be sure, ma’am. It’s just that sometimes the two go together.
This is an exchange from the ’71 version featuring Clint Eastwood, and talks about the two most important aspects of Gothic fiction : pain and pleasure. The original, adapted from A Painted Veil is considered a classic from the genre, while being one of the best received Eastwood movies. It’s always tricky to remake a classic, and wait. How do we know it’s a remake? Because they share the same name? And this is exactly where Coppola has gone wrong, and would be hoping most audiences wouldn’t remember the 1971 movie to compare that with this. Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled is a retelling of the original novel and not a remake, and she does try to prove this by providing exposition in the trailer. In an interview, Coppola said that her take on the film would shift the narrative from the perspective of the wounded soldier to that of the women at the school. Though I have doubts over the story with Coppola’s usually slow pacing, the casting is incredible with Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning and Colin Farrell in prominent roles. Farrell has taken on a similar dubious character earlier, with his vampire in Fright Night and would certainly bring a charm, which is required from the setting. The film would incline towards drama, and it is advisable to not expect tropes associated with horror.