Monday, January 28, 2008

Movie: Mansfield Park

First, what I liked: the ending. Not being facetious here...they did a really good job with the ending! I got TWO SEPARATE sets of shivers. That good. I also liked Aunt Bertram - so lazy! And the pug dog was very cute. Also, the men were cast well - I liked them all! I mean, I HATED HENRY, of course. And could the set be more gorgeous?

Now then. Here are my rules for the movie adaptation of books, and very few exceptions are known to me. Nearly always, the book is better than the movie. This will be expanded into a separate post at a later date - FUN! If you have rules to add, let me know!

1) There is no room for character subtlety. Bad people must be established as Bad, and Good as Good. Bad Henry in photo at right.

2) Any characters not necessary to the central plot are eradicated. Ditto locations.

3)Time is shrunk considerably.

For example. Last night my buddy C and I watched Mansfield Park together. I'm fairly sure it's the last time she'll tolerate it, because I am one of those horrible people who can't stop themselves from saying, "In the book, this and THIS happened..."(Clever Mary Crawford at right)
Just a few of my observations:
At entrance of Crawford siblings, as Henry says to Mary, "And aren't we much more likely to deceive..."....not me:"Well, I guess we know if they are Bad or Good." Of course, it isn't quite so clear in the book.
15 min into movie: "We are now half way through the book."
"How can these guys see so much boobs and still get excited about an ankle?" Seriously. I highly doubt that the meek and mild, not too mention very moral, Fanny from the book would have dared to show her girls as much as the costume design for the movie did. Catherine from Northanger Abbey was more modestly dressed, so why couldn't they have done the same for Miss Price? Maria Bertram (Mariah?!) shows off her source of power in the photo to the right. Also known as the Bionic Woman.

Okay, I know. A lot of this is nit-picky. Since I know the Rules of Book Adaptations, I can expect it. However, I don't like it when entire personalities are changed, as Fanny's was. I know she's a wallflower heroine in the book, but I like her for the variety...that the good, quiet girls can also get her Dream Dude, not just the smart, sassy ones like Miss Crawford. And Billie Piper has a modern look - maybe it's her dark brows with blond hair... I don't like her casting. I expected someone a little more gentle-looking. By the way, you may recognize her from Dr. Who.

Thanks to Noel's comment, I was able to totally understand why JK Rowling named Filch's cat Mrs. Norris. The woman is truly nasty, and the movie was barely able to touch on it. Too bad. Also, poor Sir Thomas was practically a villain, with only one scene of kindness. The book made him more as a misguided loving father...and uncle, even though he was unable to show Fanny that affection until after he returns from Antigua.
On the other hand, the book was a lot to get through for a plot that was summed up in an hour and a half - without too many shortcuts that I really objected to. Except for it was so much less of Austen's superior storytelling. But for that, you'll have to read the books! After watching the movies. I think that will be my future plan!

No comments: