Good book, bad film? Day #1
This week, all week, we'll be posting blogs about good books that spawned bad films. Or bad books that produced good films. It's all a matter of opinion. First up, it's two different interpretations of Atonement.
Book: Atonement, by Ian McEwan
Film: Atonement, directed by Joe Wright
A film that fancies itself no end, from the close-up of typewriter letters thwacking into paper to that gratuitous long take at Dunkirk. And one that exposes what’s wrong with the book. Why should I care about two people I barely know anything about? Or give the time of day to a narrator who’s an inveterate liar?
Atonement the book wallows in its own postmodern take on storytelling: it’s smug and unsatisfying. Whereas Atonement the film leaves out any academic posturing on the subjectivity of truth. It’s a good old-fashioned story (with a beginning, middle and an end), where the atmospheric surroundings are brought to life. After watching the film, I wanted to re-read the book.