Saturday, January 09, 2010

Atonement: Book vs Movie

I have recently finished reading Atonement by Ian McEwan. Like most books I read, I tried not to find out anything about the plot or characters before reading it, which was great in this case, but it really through me for a loop when I found out the reason for the title. I hadn't expected Briony to be the one atoning. I have been digesting the story for a few days, trying to figure out how to summarize it. The plot is somewhat simple, but it seems complex when I try to put it into words!
After finishing the book, I watched the movie. While the movie follows the book almost exactly, I enjoyed the book much more. The book allows the reader to know the thoughts and feelings of the characters, which is lost in the movie. I LOVED Briony (what a fantastic name!) in the book; I didn't really connect with her on the screen. I didn't really feel a connection with any of the characters in the movie. From reading the novel, I knew the history of Robbie and Cecilia's lives, which made their falling in love more realistic and believable in the movie.
The language Ian McEwan uses in the book is beautiful; he is so descriptive and eloquent. It would take me forever to write such "pretty" sentences! Here's one of my favs:

"Briony resisted because she wanted to chase in solitude the faint thrill of possibility she had felt before, the elusive excitement at a prospect she was coming close to defining, at least emotionally." (chapter 3)

Here is what I would've written: "She didn't do it because she was afraid of the truth."
Talk about eloquence! Maybe Ian writes a blog. We would all be better for reading that one!
So, anyway, I enjoyed the movie, but it was mainly because I had already read the book. I have to wonder if I would have liked the movie better if I hadn't read the book, but I kinda feel like I wouldn't have liked the movie at all...

1 comment:

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