Obviously, as we have talked about before from both the King Lear movie adaptation and the Stardust movie adaptation, the movies do not live up to the books… ever.
I was actually really excited to see the A Thousand Acres movie adaptation. I was happy that we were going to be seeing a somewhat normal movie about a somewhat normal situation, but I was very disappointed in the end. I don’t know about anyone else, but I hated this adaptation. First off, the movie left out so many important details that were crucial to the storyline, such as Ginny’s miscarriages, Ginny’s relationship to the girls, her any Ty’s change in relationship, and Harold’s incident, among many other events. Also, the movie really sucked at showing Ginny’s struggle with herself about wanting to say what was on her mind instead of being the perfect child seeing the good in everything and everyone. I was SO disappointed in not being able to see her struggle and her moment building up causing what happened in the end. The movie left out so many important details that I couldn’t help but wonder just how confusing the movie would be if I hadn’t read the book first. Therefore, I had my boyfriend, Russell, watch with me. Needless to say, he was COMPLETELY lost; he couldn’t figure out who was related to who, who the husbands were, what people’s motives were for doing such drastic things to others and saying such dramatic things to one another, or what, exactly, caused or led up to certain events happening. I had to explain so much from the book to him because things would happen out of nowhere, and he’d be completely thrown off. This is what he had to say about the movie:
“I was so lost I was getting frustrated for not knowing what was going on! I liked how it was set in Iowa, and they hit the realistic aspects of farming and pig-raising spot on, but that didn’t make up for my confusion…”
Secondly, I did not like that they left a lot of Jess out in the movie. I felt that Jess was such an important part of the book, as he really started Ginny’s struggle with her own thoughts (Plus I love Collin Firth). The movie also never really showed much of Rose’s not-so-nice side, which changed the motives of Ginny in her life. (I was super disappointed that Ginny didn’t try to kill Rose.)
One thing I did like about the movie was that it left out a lot of that useless rambling that Smiley worked into her book, which we talked about a little in class. It helped me focus a little, and it kept the boringness out of the movie and kept time moving along smothely.
Overall, I really felt the movie was super choppy, as it kept leaving important details out of the story, so things kind of happened out of nowhere. Also, I Kind of lost the feeling of this being an interpretation of King Lear (Harold’s eye incident not happening). Lastly, the ways of shortening the story to fit a movie timeframe were helpful and detrimental at the same time. They were helpful in a sense that all of the useless rambling fillers from the book were left out, clearing the way for the more important events, and they were detrimental in a sense that SO much was left out that the story and the themes actually suffered in the process.
Apparently, not a lot of others liked the movie, either… Here are the reviews from Rotten Tomatoes: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/thousand_acres/.
I hope you all liked the movie adaptation more than I did!