Novel Translation

The Greatest Showman – Chapter 14

Chapter 14 –¬†Embracing the Challenge

Standing in the bathroom under the rosette, the warm hot water washed away the fatigue of the muscles, the long day was finally over, but that also meant a new day was about to begin.

“The Pacific” is a brother of “Band of Brothers”, but with a slightly different focus.

“Band of Brothers” focuses on the cruelty of war, through the experience of a company of soldiers to show the revolutionary friendship between soldiers and the ups and downs of the entire World War II, of which the real Normandy landing became the masterpiece of the entire work, hailed as exceeding the “Saving Private Ryan”. The theme of “I am not a hero, I fought alongside a hero” is even more passionate.

While “The Pacific” focuses on the effects of the war, the show is linked by three characters, Eugene B. Slegde, John Basilone and Robert Leckie, all three of whom are real-life characters.¬† The whole set of episodes is based on the memoirs of Eugene and Robert. The main theme of the conflict revolves around the three men, showing the impact of all aspects of their lives, aiming to show the profound impact of World War II on each individual, each individual family, and even the state of society as a whole.

Renly is about to play the role of Eugene, who carries the core soul of the entire series as well as the sublimated ideas.

In a previous life, Renly had watched “The Pacific” and was impressed by the character of Eugene. He is a very interesting and complex character.

He was originally a young boy with no strength, and could not even exercise strenuously because of heart disease, but gradually grew into a soldier with blood on his hands, and even a bit cranky on the battlefield. When he just entered the battlefield, he vomited when he saw the corpses, throwing up until his bile was turned upside down, only to later watch his comrades die one by one, the struggle for survival and difficulties began to distort his beliefs, humanity was disappearing little by little – even when he saw the bawling baby, the first reaction was that of human bomb rather than to go and protect the weak.

He had his unwavering belief that this war was the only way to protect his home from invasion, but on the battlefield he realized that even the enemy, who were also living beings, had their own families as well as their own beliefs that they wanted to protect. They were fighting, not to protect their homes, but to kill each other, so how in the world did all this happen? It made him begin to question his own faith – if God loves and cares for each of his people, then why does he allow war to exist? If God is willing to take the punishment of sin in place of each person, then why are his hands stained with blood, not of his own volition?

The extinction of humanity and the collapse of faith turned Eugene’s world upside down. He was lucky to survive, but he hated himself for it, because his braver and stronger comrades lay dead forever on the battlefield, while the timid and cowardly him survived, and he didn’t even know how he got back to his homeland.

He returned to his homeland, and he survived the war on all fours, but he didn’t know how to go on living. Eugene, was no longer Eugene.

In the whole set of episodes, Eugene has the most complete, full and rich character profile, which can be said to be the cohesion of all the ambitions in “The Pacific “, in just ten episodes, it showed the magnitude of life. Even compared to “Band of Brothers”, the depth and height of the role of Eugene is also well ahead and could be entirely filmed as a movie.

Of course, this also means that the performance is very difficult, far beyond imagination.

Child actor Joseph Mazzello, who played Eugene in his last life, has a Bambi-like fragility, which gives Eugene a special touch, with the blankness, hesitation and despair in his eyes that fits well with the style of the entire episode. However, Joseph’s performance was slightly monotonous, without layers or depth, he was not able to show the subtle changes that inadvertently weakened the core idea of the drama; especially in the second half, the kind of grandeur from falling apart to the silence of the heart like death, almost completely absent, which is a major blow to the efforts of the production team.

After the broadcast of “The Pacific”, praise continues to be high from professional critics, but the audience response was not as good as “Band of Brothers”.

There are many reasons for this, the first is the high expectation of the audience, the audience’s standards have been raised to a whole new level, it is inevitable that all aspects will be compared; the second is the shift in the intention of the drama, which led to a change in focus, the chemistry of the war scenes has weakened; one also needs to take into account the issue of the reference object of the adaptation, “Band of Brothers” is based on a novel, while “The Pacific” is based on two different memoirs, which has a certain impact on the performance of the war scenes.

Last but not least, Joseph was not able to demonstrate enough depth, and did not manage to make Eugene sustain as the soul of the whole drama, leading to an abrupt end to the sublimity of the second half of the drama, lacking the kind of summary baptism of the “Band of Brothers”.

The audience is subjective, and the difference between the two works is enough to make them dissatisfied; the critics are objective, giving enough recognition from the framework of the drama, to the quality of the scenes and the core of the idea.

Now that the role of Eugene has been taken over by Renly, how will his performance be? Can he live up to expectations? Will he be able to surpass Joseph’s performance? Will he be able to rely on the power of his performance to bring out the ideas of the production team? Will he be able to light up the soul of the whole production of “The Pacific”?

The overall quality of the work is not something that an actor can change, let alone a new actor with no acting experience, but the quality and intensity of the performance is the actor’s responsibility, all of it. This is not an easy task, strictly speaking, it is a formidable challenge.

Renly’s blood was rushing fast, the exhilaration and excitement from the adrenaline was seeping through his muscles, and it was hard to contain the jubilation.

To become an actor, which is his biggest dream and persistence since he was reborn, but everything before this was just on paper, even after experiencing those fragmented performances in London’s West End and Off-Broadway, he did not know whether he was talented enough to become a good actor, whether he had enough ability to constantly push the boundaries of acting; not to mention the enormous pressure from home, so heavy that he could not breathe .

Now, the opportunity has finally come! And it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

Not only did Renly not feel overwhelmed by the challenge, but he was extremely excited by the difficulty of the task. Although this is only his first official performance, but now he has already begun to rub his fists, eager to give it a go.

To live again, he didn’t want to look ahead, fearful, he wanted to really let go, recklessly and openly continue to sprint to the limit, to see how much light his life can shine. Living like the splendor of summer flowers, dying like the quiet beauty of autumn leaves, he wanted to follow Tagore’s footsteps to explore this journey.(T/N – Rabindrath Tagore was a Indian poet.)

Excitement boiled and raged and after that, Renly gradually calmed down. To complete the challenge, it is not possible merely by talking, it is because of the severity of the challenge, so he needs to pay more attention. Perhaps tomorrow he should go to the New York Public Library and start with some background information on the World War II era.

For most actors, acting is just acting, relying on instinct, and relying on skills to perform, and that’s all it takes. But in his last life of ten years of film viewing experience, and this life in Cambridge University, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts learning experience, let Renly understand that the performance is dependent on the role, only a full understanding of background knowledge and life experience, the kind of performance from the inner and outer temperament will give the role the image of vivid reality.

This is just like the British aristocrats who insist on studying elegant art and reading literature. The inner temperament is difficult to describe in words, but it is often the key to determine the fundamental distinction.

Originally he thought he would toss and turn because he was too excited to sleep, but he didn’t think that he would fall asleep quickly after his head hit the pillow. The only thing he needs to do now is to get ready and get prepared for action.

The early morning in New York is always extraordinarily noisy, with the deafening roar of noisy car engines, the sound of noisy people filling the buildings everywhere, accompanied by the grumbling of the pipes struggling to work, and a touch of fretfulness and impatience in the midst of all that energy in the city.

He slept comfortably until 10:30, and if it weren’t for his plans for the day, he would have wanted to stay in bed until the end of time. Today, Renly is going to go to the New York branch of the Actors Union to ask about the upcoming schedule for “The Pacific” to get the details, and then go to the library to check out the information. As a novice, he had to rely on his own understanding of how a TV show or movie crew works and how the actors’ preparations unfolded, so he had to be as prepared as possible before entering the set.

After washing and tidying up, he opened the refrigerator, browsed up and down, but did not find much food, then remembered that he had not been to the supermarket for some time, and now it seemed that Chris had also forgotten about it. After rummaging around for a while, he picked up an apple, stuffed it into his mouth, closed the refrigerator door and prepared to leave straight away.

“Wait.” However, Chris opened the door to the room, T-shirt in hand, and was fumbling with his shoes, “Wait, are you going to the Actors Union now? I’m coming along.”

Renly raised the end of his eyebrows, showing a puzzled look, Chris casually explained, “I’m going over to see what’s going on.”

Renly did not think much about it, it seemed that Chris was bored at home over the past two months, it is expected that some people can not wait, beckoning, he said briskly, “Follow.”

Chris put on his shoes, striding all the way to catch up, and then saw the apple in Renly’s hand, “…… this is the apple I bought, right? I’ll get one too.”

“This is the last one.” Renly said with a frank face, and by the way also ruthlessly bit a big bite on top of the rosy apple, the crunchy sound exceptionally crisp.

Chris stood by the side, full of black lines.

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