Friday, June 18, 2010

Possession - DVD vs. Book

Based on book by A. S  Byatt
Rated 3.5 Stars

I watched this movie when it first came out and loved it.  Jennifer Ehrl as Christabel Lamotte and Jeremy Northram as Randolph Ashe,  are both famous Victorian poets. Their passionate but doomed love story has a little mystery added in, beautiful 19th century costumes, some lovely settings.  Everything a romantic heart needs to make an excellent story.  Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Knightly, what's not to love?

Gweneth Paltrow (Maud) and Aaron Eckhart (Roland) play two modern-day literary scholars who are academic competitors unravelling the secret, passionate love affair between Christabel and Randolph,  and I guess, falling for each other in the process.  This would have been fine had the relationship between Maud and Roland been made entirely clear. As it was it left me a little bewildered. And the film was  not helped by the fact that there was absolutely no chemistry between Eckhart and Paltrow. But never mind, there was that beautiful and tragic love story between Christabel and Randolph so who cared?

Then I read the book.  Oh dear!

This movie barely resembled the book.  The real, and beautifully written love story was all about Maud and Roland.  Christabel and Randolph were revealed as a couple of rather weak, self absorbed persons with very little if any self control who confused lust with love.  I didn't like either one of them.  And as for Randolph's stupid wife?  Someone needed to slap her silly!

Isn't it amazing how the movie folks can take a book and totally flip the story?  This was, by the way the only book by Byatt I have ever liked.  
Post a Comment