Last night I watched two movies from the Book to Movie challenge hosted over at Two Biblomaniacs. I am reading a set NYR list and therefore the films I can watch are limited to those books, but oh what fun! Yesterday while cleaning the kitchen I watched Brave New World, and The Count Of Monte Cristo.
Brave New World: 1998 – Peter Gallagher, Leonard Nimoy.
The book was intense, sad, and then some what a jarring rip off at the end. It had a balanced feel of innocence in a time of debauchery, freedom in the midst of oppression, and a quasi happiness floating like a soap-bubble through hell. The movie seemed to have taken the set, props, and character names from the novel and hosted a totally different play. While I understand editing and screen cuts are needed, this simply wasn’t the same story. The actors did a fine job, they committed to the strange and odd people and managed to have an ok movie… if I hadn’t read the haunting beauty of the book, I wouldn’t have known the soul had been taken out of the story.
The Count of Monte Cristo: 2002 – James Caviezel, Guy Pearce, Richard Harris.
Ah – again. Okay so the movie was fun, fast paced, and visually stunning. I loved Jim Caviezel and Richard Harris in their roles, and seeing Luigi Vampa on-screen was excellent – however. Okay wait before I go all “they changed the story line, they messed with characters, they left two-thirds of the novel out”, I want you to understand that yes, I am more than aware the book to movie version that I would approve of would be roughly 24 hours long. Honestly I belive if I had been saddled with the task of placing that tome of Dumas’ onto film I couldn’t have done a better job….(with the exception of the ‘best friends’ who never really were even acquaintances in the book part). I think they boiled things down and took the parts they wanted and it worked. I should leave it there. I will.
Two more down and guess what I’m watching tonight? The Woman in White! I am actually kind of scared that Fosco isn’t going to be as compelling as I want him to be, that I won’t love this version of Marian Halcombe. Also I have A Tale of Two Cities, guess who plays Darnay/Carton?! Prince Humperdink 🙂 ha!