Shades Of Words

The Remains of the Day


Kapil has gone back to reading (yay!) and the very first book that he read was “Remains of the Day” by Kazuo Ishiguro. I haven’t read the novel myself, but was up for the movie version starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. How can one miss that!

The focal point of the story is slightly unusual – a middle aged butler of a British household. Mr. Stevens ( Anthony Hopkins) has served at Darlignton estate almost all his life. However, the war stirs things over and his Lord’s Nazi’s sympathies have him out of his home. Mr. Steven’s new master is an American politicion Mr. Farraday( Christopher Reeves!) . The movie opens with Farraday suggesting that Stevens take a holiday – a road trip. Stevens decides to visit the former housekeeper of Darlington Hall, Miss Keaton, and on his drive he reminices about the times under his old Master, Lord Darlignton (James Cox) before World War II.

“The Remains of the Day” is essentially a character sketch of Stevens. The central theme of the movie is the core quality of “diginity” that Stevens possesses and must possess to become a great butler. This quality is so important that it defines his relationship with his master, his staff, his father, his ability to love – his very existence. His work comes above everything else and at the price of relationships and his own happiness.

Anhtony Hopkins performance as Mr. Stevens is spot on. Without moving a muscle, is face still expresses amazing depths. One can’t help but feel sorry for Stevens by the end of the movie. Emma Thompson is the bright light in this slightly gloomy production. There are two scenes that are to watch out for – one in which they discuss a book ( extremely riveting – watch it out to find out why), and the one where they end their evening conferences. Hugh Grant makes a fleeting appearance as the Darlington’s godson.

Directed by award winning James Ivory, the movie literally takes us into the world of stuffy but luxurious world of noble English households. The movie is mostly shot indoors where the world of the domestic servants exist but there are some beautiful visuals of the English countryside.

Verdict : High quality cinema – must watch.


Author: Vipula

Before talking about who we are, we’d like to tell you a bit about how and why Shades of Words came into being. It all started with the idea of “A place where we could share with likeminded people about things we enjoy. From books to music to movies to travel; Shades of Words was to be a place about the best of our experiences” We thought about why should anyone read us? The answer was that whatever we review would be a mix of our experience of the thing along with interesting and useful information about it. So in case you are reading us regularly or even checking us out once in a while then we have succeeded in our efforts someway somewhere. Who are we? Known as Kapil Sood and Vipula Gupta, we thought of Shades of Words on one fine Sunday afternoon. Tired of writing interesting RFP’s and project documentation; we decided to give this a shot. Yes! We work in Indian IT industry. Cupid struck us while were innocently slogging together on the highly intricate job of formatting and beautifying documents! And since then, we have been working together to establish Shades of Words as a place that we can claim as ours. (Because buying a house is still years away!) What else? Kapil also writes some blogs which you can read here and here.

5 thoughts on “The Remains of the Day

  1. Good review. As I said to you, this movie was very true to the book and most scenes were very close to the book. I’d suggest that you should read the book too. BTW, it was not Harrington. It’s Lord Darlington.

  2. After reading the review, feel like reading the book. Kapil is a seasonal reader like me.

  3. Mr. Stevens reminds me of Jeeves who is also an epitome of your conventional butlers…the know all but silent, dignified gentleman’s gentleman who ensure that their master stands above all else. I wonder why I get a sense of gloominess from the review though 😉 Like they say, its so hard to find trusted butlers or maids anymore!

  4. @Mom – you should watch the movie – I think you will like it
    @Zoya – Yes you are right about the gloominess – this movie does not have a very happy ending

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