The movie is about a Danish young woman who marries one of her friends and moves from Denmark to Africa in order to start a new life. Karen is a beautiful, independent, young woman. She decides to get in bed with Hans Blixen hoping that he will marry her and make her a baroness. Hans reads her intentions and he refuses to marry her so Karen finds herself on her way to spinsterhood. She is desperate and lonely and she wants to leave Denmark forever. Bror is Hans' brother and Karen's friend. He likes to hunt and party but he has no money left. Karen tells him that she will provide him with the money that he desperately needs if he will marry her and make her a baroness.
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Bror moves to Kenya to jump start the new family business. Karen follows him after a while and she carries her porcelains and her expensive furniture in a small train across Africa. They are about to get married in Kenya, establish a dairy farm and be a family. Karen's train is stopped by two big game hunters named Denys and Berkeley. They put a big pair of tusks on the train and they move on.
Karen and Bror get married and move into their new home. She finds out that Bror started a coffee plantation instead of a dairy farm. One morning, Karen wakes up and she discovers that Bror is gone. A servant tells her that Bror is not going to be back for months because he went hunting with his friends.
Karen understands that she is on her own and that she must take care of the house and of her new coffee plantation. She visits the Kikuyu, an African tribe that leaves nearby and she hires them to work on her plantation. She decorates the house and one day she is visited by Denys and his friend, Berkeley. The three of them spend a wonderful evening telling stories and listening to music. Denys leaves and he promises to return. Bror comes home after a while and then he leaves again. Karen is lonely but she takes good care of her house and her servants love her.
World War I is about to start and Bror joins the army. After a while, he sends Karen a letter and he asks her to send him some supplies. She takes the supplies and a couple of servants and she gets on a long journey to deliver them to the men in need. She travels for weeks and she almost gets lost when she meets Denys and Berkeley. Denys gives her a compass and he is visibly impressed by her wild looks and by her bravery. Karen arrives at the border and delivers the supplies and then she returns home.
She gets very sick and she finds out that she has syphilis. Her dream of a happy marriage is shattered by the news and she realizes that Bror cheated on her and got her very sick. She travels back to Denmark to get proper treatment and she leaves Bror in charge of the house and of the plantation.
Karen returns to Kenya after a while just to realize that Bror is still cheating on her. She asks him to move out and he leaves. Denys takes Karen on a safari trip and they become lovers. He loves his freedom so he comes and goes as he pleases and Karen is happy. After a while he moves his things into Karen's house. Bror asks Karen for a divorce and she grants him his freedom.
Denys takes Karen on plane ride and she is fascinated by the whole thing. After a while she asks Denys to marry her but he refuses. She gets very frustrated and she demands to know what he does on his frequent trips and if he cheats on her. Denys leaves and Karen doesn't know if he is going to come back.
Karen's last coffer crop is destroyed by a huge fire. Her whole enterprise turns to ashes under her astonished eyes and she realizes that she must leave Africa for good. She is worried about her Kikuyu tribe. They are about to lose their land and Karen begs the authorities to find a home for them.
Denys shows up and he tells Karen that he will take her on a last plane ride. He goes away and Karen finds out that he died in a plane crash. Denys is buried and Karen leaves Africa forever.
She goes to Denmark and she writes a book about her life in Africa.
Best part of story, including ending:
Karen is such a wonderful woman, She is so strong and one can't stop admiring her. She has the courage to marry a man that she doesn't exactly love, move to a totally foreign country and stand on her own two feet when her husband proves to be a coward and a cheat. This is an awesome movie and girls can learn a lot from it.
Best scene in story:
I like the scene where Denys takes Karen on her first plane ride. The scene is fabulous and the music accompanying this scene gives you goosebumps.
They travel in silence for a while and than they join hands and you can feel that their love is real and you want it to last forever. The movie has many fascinating scenes but this one is the best. I also like the one where Karen managed to scare some lions away with her whip.
Opinion about the main character:
I don't like the fact that Karen becomes a total nag and she alienates Denys. I also don't understand Meryl Streep's accent. I understand that she is playing a Danish woman but the accent is totally distracting especially when you know that she is capable of speaking perfect English. Her voice is also very strange.
A beautifully directed movie about the interaction of two independent individuals learning to exist within the boundaries of a new country and a new love. Won multiple Academy Awards in 1985, and a definite must see for anyone with an interest in African culture, difficult love, or film technique.
The review of this Movie prepared by Joy hannah