Day 19: Favourite book turned into a movie.
I’m cheating a little with this one by having two books! Mostly because I love them both and really couldn’t decide on just one!
First up, one of my favourite books!
Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
I just love everything about this novel. The characterisations, the drama, the mythology, questions about the Enlightenment…! I could go on and on! (And have! I once wrote a 2000 word essay on how Shelley’s view of the Enlightenment was reflected in the novel. I thought it was pretty darn good, and so did my lecturer!)
Just… Amazing. But I have always been frustrated by the way it gets adapted into film. Let’s get one thing straight – Frankenstein is the doctor, the ‘monster’ (and I hate that term!) is referred to as the ‘creature’. And he is not pure evil… That’s part of the beauty of the novel, for it is humanity that brings about evil in the end – seriously, read this book. And if you want to watch it, you can’t go past Kenneth Brannagh’s 1994 version starring himself, Helena Bonham Carter and Robert DeNiro. It does take some license with the original story, but the performances are superb, and it is largely accurate. Fantastic! (Alternatively: try and get your hands on the National Theatre Live version, directed by Danny Boyle and starring Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch in alternating roles. Simply fantastic! I can’t wait to see it again!)
And now, probably my favourite film!
Harvey – Mary Chase (play)
This movie really needs to speak for itself – it is so hard to describe a film this magical, amazing and heartwarming – as well as funny, clever and so very sly! The 1950 film (pictured above) starred James Stewart as Elwood P. Dowd – a lovely actor playing the world’s loveliest and kindest character. Elwood P. Dowd is the constant embarassment and humiliation for his sister, Veta, who tries to have him committed on account of his invisible(?) friend, Harvey. Harvey is a 6ft tall white rabbit, and Elwood’s constant companion. This is a comedy of errors and brilliantly acted out by the whole cast. Really, I can’t recommend this enough. You should go out and watch it. Or read the play, they are really very similar.
Elwood P. Dowd:”Years ago, my mother used to say to me, she’d say “In this world, Elwood, you can be oh so so smart, or oh so pleasant.” Well, for years I was smart… I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.”