Based on what book?

There’s a reason people say the book was better than the movie. In most cases its because the movie doesn’t always follow the book. I took the boys to see Diary of a Wimpy Kid last Friday. Though they enjoyed it they noted some things that were not in the book. I suppose that’s one of the disappointments of seeing based-on-the-book movies, instead of bringing the book to life they  give us another version.

Currently I’m reading William Makepeace Thackery’s Vanity Fair and would like to rent the movie afterward. Though I’ve read very good reviews about the costume design and cinematography the actual movie itself is another story (no pun intended).  The difference is evident in the very movie poster which advertises that “A heroine will rise” even though the actual book is sub-titled “A Novel without a hero”. The “heroine”, Becky Sharp, was a character written by Thackery as a cautionary figure to other women to try to avoid, showing the dangers of reaching out of their station in 19th century England. Instead of the conniving, self-centered woman whose only desire is to climb the social ladder without any regard to those around her, we are instead given another silver screen rags to riches romance.

Such is modern storytelling. I was excited when I saw the trailer for Sherlock Holmes only to eventually lose any desire of actually seeing it.  For that matter, the new version of Robin Hood falls under the same category. One reviewer writes:

“….I’m sick of movies that seem obsessed with rubbing our noses in the supposed harsh reality behind our romantic illusions of nobility and courtesy — especially in our age, when the harsh reality is taken for granted, and the romance and nobility and courtesy are all but forgotten….”

I suppose its not all that bad though. There’s still costume design and cinematography, if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s the new, shiny, flashy appearance which eventually makes us forget everything else anyway. After all, wasn’t that how the serpent changed God’s version of what would happen if you ate the beautiful, tasty, red, juicy apple.

For now, I’m sticking with the book.


4 thoughts on “Based on what book?

  1. Yes, yes…I understood Greydanus’ quote was for Robin Hood. I just got the sense that perhaps you did not go to see Holmes for the same reason and just wanted say that I did not experience it that way. Sorry if I wasn’t clear.

    BTW while reading Doyle’s books I always pictured Holmes “little off the rocker and a wild loner”. That was part of his charm..LOL

  2. Protinice,

    The quote about “rubbing our noses…” was in reference to Robin Hood. The only Holmes book I ever read was The Hound of the Baskervilles so I’m in no way an expert, I’m just making statements based on reviews I’ve read. The funny thing is that many Holmes fans seem to have liked the movie even though they admit the portrayal of Holmes was a little un-orthodox, he was shown to be a little off the rocker, a wild loner, whereas older movies always showed him being a bit more dignified.

  3. I’m a A.C.Doyle fan, have read most of his works & every single Holmes book he wrote many times over. I was not disappointed w/the latest Holmes movie which I saw on cable. It certainly was nothing like previous Holmes’ movies for sure. And, of course, it’s much different than reading the books. But I didn’t get the sense it was “rubbing our noses in the supposed harsh reality…” It was good, crazy, rip-roaring fun! In that way,very Holmesian. FWIW, I gave it two big fat thumbs up!!


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