Friday, December 7, 2007

The Golden Compass

If you haven't read the book The Golden Compass, feel free to attend the movie. You will probably find it enjoyable, though perhaps slightly confusing. If you have read the book, you might want to reconsider.
The movie is visually very beautiful, and the effects are very well done. But unfortunately the movie falls short in the plot and following the book department. I do understand that when they make books into movies they have time restrictions and all of that jazz. But to end the movie at a point that is about 1/8 of the way from the end of the book? I feel bereft, and slightly cheated.
Yes, the movie does hit all of the major plot points. Yes, it is technically well done. But I feel like by adding even half an hour to finish the plot, or by using that half an hour to explore some of the more intricate aspects of the plot in the book, the film would have been better.
I guess the lesson is that I should never expect as much out of a movie as I do out of a book.
His Dark Materials, the trilogy that The Golden Compass starts was one of the most influential books in my teenage years. I remember doing pursuit book club discussions on it, and being extremely excited when the next two books, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, came out. The books challenged my rather basic undeveloped beliefs about god, free choice, and the ideas of good and evil. The books are wonderful. And the protagonist is a brave, intelligent girl which is really rare even today in fiction.
Either way. This isn't an extremely coherent or thought out post. I just wanted to get out a little of my irritation at the movie. But really, it's ok, because it's just a movie.


Sam Love said...

Though I only just recently read the Golden Compass (and haven't managed to obtain the sequels) I completely agree. I feel like there were a few major points that could have been touched upon in as little as 10 extra minutes. That being said, I really enjoyed some of the more cinematic aspects--mainly the costuming. I now wish I knew a 10-12 year old on whom I could lavish many knitted clothing items modeled after Lyra's outfits (mainly from the Gyptians on in the film).

Also, my favorite daemon was Scorseby's hare Hester, who happened to be voiced by the wonderful Kathy Bates. (Towanda!)
In other trivia, Lyra's daemon Pan was voiced by Freddie Highmore--Charlie Bucket from Tim Burton's version of the chocolate factory. He's a cute kid.

meggo said...

agreed...completely with your blog.

the end.