Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Must-watch: The Reader

Finally. I've been waiting for so long to watch the film, and I reckoned it would still take weeks before they show it in BKK cinemas. On the way to Soi 4 last Sunday, my only choice was to snag a pirated DVD copy instead (Torrents, which was the other alternative, is freaking complicated for me... can somebody puhlease enlighten me on how it works exactly?).

As I mentioned in this post, I have read the novel three times already, so I could not help having some expectations from the film adaptation. Now, we all know that rarely do films capture entirely a book; like exactly how many times have we been disappointed? I would however take exception on a few adaptations, with Atonement and The End of the Affair at the top of my head right now.

All right, I know I should be judging the movie on its own merits without really comparing it with the book. But I cannot help it, I love the book way too much it seems.

That being said, the film adaptation is not a complete disappointment. It was not an outright betrayal I should say, but it could have been better. At least three key episodes of the book were not included in the movie and that still baffles me. These episodes could have added more layers to the movie, and in fact could have explained better the motivations of the characters, e.g. why did Hanna leave the town all of a sudden just when she was promoted in her job?

And yes, I also could not help comparing Kate Winslet's acting in The Reader and Revolutionary Road. Hmmm... I don't get it why she was not nominated for latter instead, or at least in both films. But really, she excelled way, way more in Revolutionary Road.

I'm currently halfway with Doubt, and in as much as I'm a huge Meryl Streep fan, I really, really want Kate to win an Oscar (for crying out loud, Mother Meryl has two of them already!) coz Kate is no doubt one of the best actresses around. With her nomination for The Reader instead of Revolutionary Road, I'm afraid that Meryl has the advantage, as I see it.

Now to bring it further, I'm still puzzled why The Reader is even nominated for Best Picture in the Oscars. The story-telling is nothing ground-breaking. It does not offer anything fresh. The novel has the potential to be gut-wrenching and provocative but the movie is such an average adaption. It does not have any chance to be a classic, which Best Picture nominees should be at least.

Final verdict: while the movie is engaging in some parts, it is easily forgettable as a whole.


kiel said...

hindi ka naaliw kahit sa almost full frontal nung teenager playing the young ralph fiennes?

mel said...

hi, mama meryl has only (only!) two oscars not 3 :) one for kramer vs kramer and another for sophie's choice. i so want her to win her third oscar this year. but yeah, kate is long overdue but with a nomination for the very boring the reader, fuhget about it.

kawadjan said...

kiel: di ako nadala sa kanyang note. hihihi. i've seen better, c/o belami and randy blue. choz!

melanie: ay sakto ka ma'am. meryl has two oscars lang. i'd make the necessary correction. thanks for the tip. kate is nominated for the wrong movie. but she is still young. she'd have more chances.

jayclops said...

Gi, having read The Reader too, (courtesy of you)I really can't bring myself to really really love the film much as I like the story. I think it could have been told better. I am also not getting what others say that this is a Holocaust movie and that's why it's gotten in the Oscars, because it's really not. I wished the moral internal battle could have been fleshed out more esp in Michael's character. I don't like Ralph Fiennes in this. The only thing that really saved it I think: KATE WINSLET.

Jamie said...

Since your blog is fun, I'll teach you how to download torrents. :)

I'm Anne's friend BTW (if you don't remember how I disturbed your peace and quiet in BKK, haha!)


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