The book takes place during the French and Indian War in the 1750s and focuses on the conflict between native tribes and settlers. It begins with the French attack of the British fort William Henry held by Colonel Munro. As the attack progresses, the daughters of Munro are smuggled out of the fort under the protection of Major Duncan Heyward and a native named Magua. Throughout their course, they come across more characters such as Hawkeye and David Gamut that assist them as well as find troubles within their own midst such as the betrayal by Magua.
Colonel Munro’s daughters Alice and Cora are eventually kidnapped by Magua causing a hunt to ensue to recapture them and bring the girls back to fort William Henry. Hawkeye and two Mohicans finally finds the daughters and the others that were kidnapped and rescues them, but upon returning to the fort, the British are forced to surrender, allowing the daughters to fall into the hands of Magua and the Huron tribe once again. Finally, the group led by Hawkeye finds a trail leading them to the kidnappers, but the daughters are separated and by the time they reach Cora and she has already passed.
Themes evident in the work that remain relevant to today’s society include interracial love and hybridity. The theme of interracial marriage is very present in the story as Colonel Munro, a Scottish native, is later understood to have married a woman of African decent to have Cora. This creates some controversy among people such as who oppose it. Another example present is the love between Uncas, a native, and Alice, the white daughter of Munro. Hybridity is present within Hawkeye, the white hunter and outdoorsman who shares many attributes with the natives. The hybridity present in this case makes Hawkeye a more successful hunter and protector and shows how taking cultural elements from different peoples is a benefit to society in some cases.
One scene I find key to the story is that of Cora denying Duncan’s hand in marriage. In this scene she tells him of her lack of feelings for him yet he continues with insistence trying to convince Cora that feelings are not necessary and they will come later. The scene describes the cultural phenomenon at the time in which relationships were becoming less arranged and more founded on sincere feelings for each other. Another scene I find is a key element to the story is that of Duncan finding out that Cora is part African decent. The scene reveals the racial tensions at the time as well as the discrimination towards interracial relationships.
In my opinion, the movie was very well done and stayed relatively close to the book, but it could have developed the characters further. The lack of development in the characters made the story seem somewhat dry and less appealing. Also, the relationships covered in the book seemed to have been abbreviated in the movie even though they were essential in the story line.
For my reconstruction of this movie I would like to start with updating every scene and effect to that of the highest quality. The original was developed in 1992, and with that said clearly lacks in a lot of essential areas modern viewers have higher standards for.
First of which, we will start with a completely clean slate in the acting and filming. Somewhere between the styles of Qurentino and the Coen brothers should do. The setting will take place in early 1900s Russia just before the Bolshevik revolution takes place. Two daughters will be that of Russian royal decent and have to flee their home as rebellions begin. They will be lead out by a royal escort officer who betrays them along the way and gives them off to the Bolsheviks. As this happens, another more loyal personal body guard of the daughters begins to look for them in a dangerous action packed journey to find them in heavily guarded hands. Two of his assistants are not of Russian decent and rather of Turkish and one falls in love with one of the daughters they were sent to rescue even through she does not feel the same compassion towards him due to his foreign appearance.
One essential character to the play is Petrov, the personal bodyguard of the two girls. He needs to be imposing as he is a Russian bodyguard at the time but also athletic looking for his role in the action scenes. He will need to exhibit fearlessness in conflicts and under fire, while also appearing to be human because he needs to fall in love with one of the daughters he is sent to rescue. Petrov will have an incredibly accurate shot with a rifle and also be very skillful in close quarters knife fighting. He also has a surprising ability to track people down and communicate with local people. My first choice for this role is Armie Hammer and if not Jason Statham.
The setting for the film will start out in St. Petersburg, Russia because it was the center of the whole revolution and the Russian Empire’s capital at the time. The setting will than transition to Moscow and more rural parts of the country as the movie progresses and the girls are kidnapped.
As far as costumes, everyone will feature very decadent clothing in the beginning as the first portion of the film will be within the royal family. The daughters will dress very high class to the point that they easily stick out among the people outside the capital. The Bolsheviks will be wearing poor clothing that distinguishes them as the impoverished, rural class that they were. After the girls are kidnapped they will be given cheaper clothing from the kidnappers to blend in to the rural populous. Petrov, the bodyguard will wear a uniform to start but later wear civilian clothing to move undetected among the Bolsheviks.