I just finished reading The Count of Monte Cristo for the second time, and enjoyed it perhaps even more than the first time around. There are the little bits you miss on the first time through a book to glean on a second reading, you take a little more time to savour rather than devour and it's a generally pleasant experience.
And what's not to enjoy about The Count of Monte Cristo? It's a rollicking tale of love, loss and revenge with lashings of intrigue, plus some sprinklings of drug use, affairs and sapphic affection. And some murders, bandits and moments of deep generousity and caring.
The officemate, knowing my love of the book, has lent me the serialised production of it starring Gérard Depardieu. In return, I shall lend him the book, and I imagine it will take him a touch longer to get through that than it will for me to finish the DVDs.
I like Gérard Depardieu.
Why on earth do they have to alter things so much when they create these productions? It's well done - and so far more akin to the book than the film with Jim Caviezel and Guy Pearce, which is literally a whole different story - but it's not really like the book at all either in its own way. And some of the alterations are rather grating.
In short, this is not what I imagine the scenes to be (and some of the dubbing is woeful).
I do understand that things are different for books and tv and what works for one may not necessarily work for another, but at times it can and I think the story as it unfurls in the book is enough to grab people's attention and engage them. These stories have survived the decades or centuries with great success, so why the need to alter them now?
Productions can run along very closely to the books that inspire them - the BBC versions of Jane Eyre, starring Timothy Dalton and Zelah Clarke, and Pride and Prejudice, with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, are just some of the ones that have remained quite loyal to the books. Actually, the BBC's been great with Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell, too.
But this isn't BBC and I'm only 57 minutes in and I've already loudly exclaimed, "WHAT?!?!?!" a number of times about changes that have been made. Oh well. Shall just sit back and see it purely for entertainment, great sets and interesting outfits.
Okay, enough grumbling...
I obviously feel too passionately about books I love.
Update: Maybe not enough grumbling! They've changed vital elements of the Count's character and added the whole thing of defying God rather than seeing himself as someone who's been blessed by chance/fate to do God's work, etc. Perhaps I won't finish this before the officemate finishes the book. Nyargh *shudder*
And what is this following the pardon of Peppino? Imagine the outfits Colin Firth wore for Pride and Prejudice, but baggier and in shiny black leather. Looks more like he's about to become The Mount of Monte Sadisto.
I am excessively diverted!