And so it was. This version was so excellent and compelling that I was drawn into the story. Then, at the very moment Angel leaves Tess, I suddenly realize that I couldn't remember how the novel ended. I remember everything that happens in the rest of the story, but just not the ending.
Why? How could I not remember the ending? I mean, I wrote a paper on it, for goodness sakes! I thought and thought. What happened in the novel? Surely Angel returns. Does he fight for Tess' honor? Does Tess get revenge on the unctuous Alec D'Urbervill? Does Angel forgive Tess?
Unfortunately, I know Thomas Hardy, and his novels aren't ... happy. Chances are this was going to end very badly, and I just couldn't stand it. I turned off the DVD.
Then I got mad. Would it have hurt the man (Thomas Hardy, that is) to have written one happy ending? Would it have killed him to allow Tess to finally find happiness? I fretted, and fumed, and worried.
That evening I returned to my movie and, sure enough, a tragic ending. But, oh, the story was so good that I watched it again, sad ending and all.
Dear Mr. Hardy,
It would appear you knew what you were doing, after all.