Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Words to Pictures

I love books and I love movies.

I love literature and I love film.

I especially enjoy movies that are produced accurately off of a particular play, novel or fable.

This year there are a great number of films being produced which I am waiting anxiously to view.

One of these is Romeo and Juliet based on the world famous playwright of Shakespeare. I normally am not fond of retellings of this story unless it is the 1996 version which portrays Leonardo DiCaprio as a  gangsters in the Venice beach area wooing the daughter of a rival played by Claire Danes all while  speaking perfect lines from the origional play. It captures what is most beautiful about Shakespeare, his words.

This new version is using the same technique but setting it back into the renaissance period from whence it was staged originally. I am beyond excited.

The Great Gatsby is also soon to be released starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Casey Mulligan and Tobey MacGuire. It is easy to say just from the trailer that it will be incredible beautiful cinematography with accuracy to F. Scott Fitzgeralds origional novel of bootleggers, adultery and the roaring twenties.

But this new telling brings to my mind a particular issue I have with a lot of films that base off of novels.


For example, twice in the Great Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan is described as having dark hair while Jordan Baker is a honey blonde. Yet in almost every film made of this novel, actresses with the opposite hair color are cast. Why is this? Is this because we as a society, see Daisy in her shallow, flirtatious way and instantly envision a blonde while her athletic, and independent counterpart in Jordan is seen as a smoldering brunette? It is a shame really that we deviate from the authors intent in order to fill a vision society places.

Another issue I always had was with the potrayal of a blue eyed Harry Potter in the series of films. Anyone who has EVER read the books knows automatically that Harry has green eyes which are the exact color of his late mothers. Hence the constant reference to "Lily's eyes".

Characters are always noting this physical description of him which later becomes a point when Professor Snape is killed and asks to look at Harry's eyes because they remind him of his mother, whom Snape loved his entire life. A torment that Harry, with his father's looks and mother's eyes, would be a daily reminder to Snape of the love that was lost to another. But, apparently, this was not an important issue to the directors because even later on, during a flashback scene, the red head who plays Lily as a child has dark brown eyes. So we, as an audience, are apparently supposed to overlook this? Maybe if you simply enjoy the movies as entertainment and don't care about the story or character development, this is no big deal. But for those of us who based their childhood waiting on another HP novel to be released and literally suffered emotional turmoil at the hands of these paperbacks, it is kind of a huge deal.

I mean come one, they did not even try at all. The above photo basically describes my feelings whenever I watch that scene.

For that matter, Narcissa Malfoy is a blonde with striking blue eyes. Not this weird dual color and chocolate eyes that was cast as Draco's mother. I can think of a number of actresses who would have fit the bill better. But apparently no one saw sticking to JK Rowling's work of genius as important enough.

It is a stupid rant but one that has always bothered me and probably will continue to bother me until film makers start taking an authors work seriously enough to stay accurate.

Rant over.

I just hope they do not screw up Ender's Game at least. Hoping but not counting on it.

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