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Author Topic: PLAY MISTY FOR ME: The Story: 3. Evelyn's Character  (Read 2941 times)
KC
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« on: March 02, 2003, 09:37:51 PM »

There is no information given in the film about Evelyn Draper's history or her past. The audience learns about Evelyn just as Dave is learning about her. Do you like this approach, or would you have appreciated more of an explanation of her character to better understand the psychotic behavior she exhibits as the film progresses? Does the lack of any knowledge about her past add to the suspense of the film?
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mgk
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2003, 06:41:33 PM »

 :)To me, it was perfect that we knew nothing about Evelyn Draper's past.  It added more suspense and intrigue to the role for us to be able to learn as Dave Garver learned and be just as surprised and shocked as he was.  Garver never knew what she was going to do next and neither did we.  

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badguy
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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2003, 03:08:55 AM »

I’d agree with that, I prefer not knowing exactly what kind of background she came from. This uncertainty definitely adds to the suspense.

Just thinking about Evelyn’s character, my guess is she didn’t have a good relationship with her father, she never got that attention she needed as a child, or maybe she just never had a father at all.

I’m just guessing, but a lot of her behaviour seems to be very child-like, for example when she takes Dave’s car keys and almost wants to be chased along the street, which is the sort of thing a child would do, playfully screaming and laughing simultaneously while she and Dave are fighting for the keys.
Somewhere deep down, was she looking for a father figure in Dave?

Few more examples…when she bursts into Dave’s house in the middle of the night expecting to find him in bed with Tobie, I think she says, amongst other things: “Could it be somebody’s been sleeping in Papa Bear’s bed?”
Dave then tries to tell her that he doesn’t love her and she throws herself on the bed, again like a small child, screaming: “It’s not true, it’s not true…”, before slashing her wrists, desperate to get his attention.
Pure speculation, but I wonder if perhaps Evelyn’s father cheated on her mother at some point? Did Evelyn witness it?

Later on, when she has a dream that she’s drowning and Dave isn’t helping her, was she having some kind of a childhood flashback, ‘cause she says: “Oh, I’m so alone, hold me, please…”. She’s almost begging Dave to hold her, and I get the impression that she’s been alone and unloved for a long time.
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Matt
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2003, 07:03:03 AM »

I’m just guessing, but a lot of her behaviour seems to be very child-like, for example when she takes Dave’s car keys and almost wants to be chased along the street, which is the sort of thing a child would do, playfully screaming and laughing simultaneously while she and Dave are fighting for the keys.

And when she drew the big heart on his mirror in lipstick writing "E.D. luvs D.G.", and when she leaves the stuffed animal on his doorstep that said it was there to keep on eye on him for Evelyn... and how she always wants a "Coke" rather than a more adult drink like wine or coffee...

She's definitely a child-like character, and I've also wondered if they weren't trying to show that with the colors that she wears in the film... yellow, pink, purple and baby blue... the yellow standing out the most as it's so bright and noticeable and she wears it twice in the film. (KC and I have had quite a few e-mails about that yellow and why they have her wearing it... we came up with several possibilities)  The film-makers never really go for the femme fatale with Evelyn.... they're showing her instead as being very needy and selfish as a child would be.

I agree that not knowing anything about Evelyn's past and allowing the audience to discover her just as Dave does is very effective.  There was originally a scene in the beginning of the script that showed that Evelyn had been in a mental institution.  Jessica Walter's immediate impression was that this knowledge would hurt the film and make it less suspenseful.  She asked Eastwood on their first meeting if that scene could be eliminated, and he agreed with her and it was taken out.  This reminds me of when Clint had dialogue cut from the Fistful of Dollars script... feeling that the more mystery and less we know about a character, the more interesting they are... even at the expense of less screen time or dialogue for their character.
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bcm
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2003, 04:08:05 PM »

Quote
... feeling that the more mystery and less we know about a character, the more interesting they are...

 I agree with that. All I wanted to say here is that, even if we think we know someone, we might not know the things that lead to mental illness. Incest is one of the big causes of mental illness, and I doubt we will know that even of close friends. And what makes it more difficult to "predict" mental problems: one person can take an awful situation without getting mentally ill, and another one will become seriously ill in a much easier situation. So I'm glad they didn't tell us anything about Evelyn's past, we might have made wrong conclusions anyway...
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"He wondered what the man's name was and where he was from; and if he was really evil of heart, or what lies or threats had led him on the long march from his home: and if he would not really rather have stayed there in peace" Sam, TTT, written by JRR Tolkien, 1954
mgk
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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2003, 08:28:50 PM »

 Thanks, everyone! This thread is now locked.  Please post any additional thoughts you have on this topic in the General Discussion forum.
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