Thursday, June 21, 2007

Claude Frollo

"It's not my fault
I'm not to blame
It is the gypsy girl
The witch who set this flame

It's not my fault
If in God's plan
He made the devil so much
Stronger than a man"

Judge Claude Frollo, in the song, "Hellfire",
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

I can't function. All I can do is replay the scene where Frollo sing the "Hellfire" song over and over again on my laptop.

Some perspective.

I just watched Disney's (very loose) adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel, Notre Dame de Paris, and it was;


What other Disney flick you know would even DARE mention religious bigotry, racism, discrimination against deformed people and sexual lust - all in the same movie - let alone address them the way The Hunchback of Notre Dame did?

None, I tell you! At least, none that I'm able to name at the moment's notice *cough*.

First off, let me warn you that this post isn't a review (if you want to know more about the movie itself, go HERE). No sirree - this is a shoutout; a loving tribute to the coolest villain ever to be hatched from the foul, twisted minds of insane animators chained to the walls by their feet in the dank, dark cellars of Disneyland! As the title of this post blatantly and shamelessly endorsed, I'm talking about the sinister Claude Frollo, the horniest judge/minister/whatever-he-was1 to ever terrorise fictional Paris;

Protect me, Maria
"Oh crap, my neck is stuck this way!"

Of course, a villain's CV would not be complete without his Big List of Misdeeds and Awesome Naughtiness? Let's me just briefly (I'll try) enumerate his crimes against other cartoon characters;
  • Racism. Frollo actively prosecutes the gypsies of Paris and dreams to one day stamp out their existence from the city. Why? Because it's just a bloody evil thing to do, bwahahahaha!
  • Horniness. No kidding. Go watch the video I've embedded somewhere lower down in this post and hear him sing his lusty ditty. The object of his lecherous desires is the gypsy Esmeralda (voiced by the once-delectable Demi Moore). And what more, he blamed his sins of horniness on Esmeralda's for being so darn sexy. He also captured her and burnt her on a pyre for rejecting him. According to him, Esmeralda would be pardoned from eternal damnation in hell for her sins of being a bootylicious gypsy if she lets him rape her (go figure). What more do you want in a villain?!
  • Murder. Damn, I absolutely love the scene (right at the start of the flick) where he pursued Quasimodo's gypsy mom on a huge, black, emo stallion. Then when he caught up to her, he grabbed the infant hunchback Quasimodo from her clutches, thinking it was stolen goods2 and pawned Quasi's mom with a kick.
  • Discriminating Against Ugliness. A few seconds after he managed to grab Quasimodo from his now dead-as-door-nails mother, he's raring to chuck baby Quasi into a well after he saw that he was a congenitally deformed child, referring to him as a "monster" and "demon from hell". Fortunately for Quasimodo, the Archdeacon of Notre Dame intervened and insisted that Frollo pay penance for pawning Quasi's mom by raising Quasi as his own son. Guess I can add Attempted Baby Pawnage Infanticide too to this growing list.
  • Lying and Slander. He told Quasimodo that his mother was a heartless gypsy woman who abandoned him and that he willingly chose to raise Quasimodo as his own, insisting that anyone else in his position would have drowned Quasi in a well for his ugliness. How freakin' cool is he?
  • Religious Bigotry. Considers himself to be OMGHOLY. Everyone else is corrupted and is heading to hell. How can you not like a guy like that?
  • Negligence of Duty as Judge. That's an understatement. He the living embodiment of injustice in Paris.
  • Arson. Frollo torched half of Paris in his hunt for Esmeralda. That's what happens when a guy did not learn how to masturbate.
  • Ignorant Zealotry. He thought the gypsies's street magic tricks were witchcraft and for that, they should rightly be burnt in the name of God. Haha, what a nut. Just like those folks who considered the Harry Potter books to be the works of Satan.
  • Crimes Against Fashion. Big voluminous, black robe with a massive, mushroom-shaped hat. 'Nuff said.
And for a man as vile as he, Frollo can certainly sing. I totally blown away when he started this musical number in the flick. I don't think I can ever get tired of this song (watch his hands, they are incredibly expressive);

If you choose to pass up on watching this, I pity you. You'll never know what you've been missing all your life.

I guess what I truly love about the characterisation of Frollo is that he thought he's blameless and righteous till the very end (Yeah. End. Splat) - and that he's just basically a very, very ordinary human with extraordinarily pernicious traits. I mean, if you've watched the movie and have seen the way Frollo talked and acted, you'd find very easy to spot the insanity hidden under the thin veneer of authority and self-proclaimed piousness. Of course, we all know that authority (or power) corrupts, and extremism in piety can completely consume a man, leading him to believe that all his actions are divinely permitted. With this volatile mix of personality, it's no wonder that Frollo is such a complete psychopath.

And I love psychopaths. They make the strangest, most enigmatic villains in the realm of movie magic and literature. A good flick or book, I believe, is only as good as the bad guys in it.

Okay, this is the last in my series of (relatively) short lame posts. Normal postings resume this weekend. Many apologies for being such a gormless rambler all week. It's the exam's fault.

P.S. Now, a moment of silence for Tony Jay, the brilliant voice actor behind the powerful character of Claude Frollo, who had passed away in August last year. I sincerely wish that he's still alive.

Frollo's #1 fan,
k0k s3n w4i

1 He's supposed to be the Archdeacon of Notre Dame according to Victor Hugo's novel but in this cartoon, the Archdeacon is a separate character. The folks at Disney reckoned that they might get lynched or burnt at the stake or something by an Anglican mob if they choose to proceed with the original characterisation. So much for religious open-mindedness, eh?
2Frollo considered everything that the gypsies owned were stolen goods. He's so deliciously vile.


michellesy said...

KoK......and DISNEY? Holy Flying Cows - can it be?

LOL - you never fail to surprise, I have to say =)

But I admit, it was very you to take a shine to the villain of the piece.

By the way, these posts are not lame. Lame is when you blog about your day, breakfast onwards in excruciating and pointless minutiae.

Excruciating, that is, to your readers (if you have any left, that is).

Oh, and you also take us through exactly which expensive restaurant you lunched at, what skimpy clubbing outfits you dropped a bundle on and conclude with a flourish that you have no need for a loaded boy-boy because YOUR FATHER HAPPENS TO PRINT BANKNOTES EXCLUSIVELY FOR YOUR USAGE. WTF.

True story folks, true story. The saddest bit is that I actually know this blogger, for real.

ps: Hope your exams went well

bevE said...

*reads michellesy's comment* Lol. You rich spoof. =P

is it really your first time watching this? o.O

i love that poster - the angle is wow.

i liked that song The Bells of Notre Dame (I think that's what it's called?) and the beginning song as well.

Jen said...

the hunchback of notre dame made me so damn pissed when i was 10!! i was outraged that mr. two-faced double-crossing lying cretin frollo would treat poor quasimodo in such a horrible way!!

and gypsy oppression!!?? i was also pissed out of frustration on behalf of the gypsies because just a single man could make all of them run and cower in fear.

add to that, i also ever so disgustingly hated frollo for hating peaceful people who were no more different than him.


k0k s3n w4i's said...

I'm a sucker for well-thought-out characters. What so surprising about me watching Disney anyway?

Lame is when you blog about your day, breakfast onwards in excruciating and pointless minutiae.

Like this?;

Oh, and you also take us through exactly which expensive restaurant you lunched at, what skimpy clubbing outfits you dropped a bundle on and conclude with a flourish that you have no need for a loaded boy-boy because YOUR FATHER HAPPENS TO PRINT BANKNOTES EXCLUSIVELY FOR YOUR USAGE. WTF.

Hey, this blogger sounds familiar! just like the other million of bimbo blogs out there in the interweb!

Exam bombed. let's not talk about unhappy things here :)

She's not talking about me la :| (paiseh you).
The Bells of Notre Dame song IS the song at the beginning. Superbly woven into the preamble and backstory. Gosh, I'm going to watch it again. Frollo ARE TEH BESTEST!

You're just jealous that Frollo picked Esmeralda over u :P
Why, if I'm a girl, I'll fall head over heels over head over heels for Frollo! Man, that dude can really emo.
Which villain you know isn't a two-faced double-crossing lying cretin anyway?

michellesy said...

I just thought that Disney might not have accorded well with that 'dark and brooding temperament' that you assure me you have *winks*

And NO, I definitely was NOT referring to you. Watch it pal, you're talking about one of my favourite bloggers here =P

That post you linked to is one I love: how you spin daily minutiae into moments of pure serendipity I don't know (bookmark as shirt tag, shirt etc).

I could put the person's blog link up but I will refrain, for two reasons.

#1. It will send more traffic to her site, which is probably the main thing she craves and the last thing I need.
Her head is quite swollen enough, thank you =D

#2. She's perfectly capable of bitch-slapping me if she finds out my indictment of her and her lack of neurons, er I mean, lack of interest in intellectual pursuits. XD

I'm mainly refraining for Reason #2 btw LOL!

ps: I wasn't kidding when I say she claimed her father printed banknotes. Her exact words were along the lines of: I happen to have a daddy who prints money, so slap me.

I'm still debating whether I should take her up on that offer.

pps: Bimbo blogs can be entertaining. But I really do not need umpteemth shots of a plate of $30 shrimp risotto she claimed she'd been craving for days.

Nil entertainment value there. Unless you count mocking her as entertainment *winks*