Thursday, 8 July 2010

When a book is bad, the film adaptation will suck, seriously!

So for some god awful reason I was persuaded by an individual (who to avoid embarrassment I will not name as co conspirator) I sat down and watched some of 'Eragon'. Remember that? Firstly a bestselling kids book and then a movie. No, don't recall? Yeah, well that was because it was abysmally awful. Like vomiting is a better alternative to watching or reading that story. (I feel similarly about Twilight - more on that later!)

So I know that Eragon was written by some kid - it shows if the film is anything to go by. There is no real setting of context of the world and its rules, instead there is some rubbish overview of bad forces vs good forces and that's about it. It lacked even a hint at depth and well, when anyone writes or delves into a fantasy story, it should contain *some* measure of depth. Even the world of Harry Potter is rich and feels like it exists long before we enter the story. No, Eragon is not in the same ball game, its playing by itself in some corner, ignored by the kids who have creativity and know how to tell a story.

It boggles the mind to think that this story was published (and went on to make the writer millions) when it contains every cliche in the book - random farm boy is propelled into a destiny he ain't ready for; grouchy mentor who once saw glory is now trying to relive that said valour through pushing it on useless, aimless kid; damsel in distress calling out to hero; 'baddies' who appear to have no reason to be bad other than they can-  the list goes on.
And you can forget dialogue - there isn't any, only cliche lines. As for the cast, they literally looked like they were in it simply for the paycheck - forget about anyone even trying. Jeremy Irons simply got along with a 'performance' without any acting to really supplement it - he knew that it was a place holder of a role and not one that required even effort. Fair does, I would have felt the same on seeing the script.

Moreover, just production value wise, nothing was done to try and create suspense or real atmosphere from the lighting or framing which left one thinking they were viewing some SyFy Tv drama rather than a cinematic product. Of course, it wasn't helped by a flagging lead role, Ed Speelers who has disappeared from our screens. Oh dear. I would too if I was in any way linked to this film. Rachel Weisz made a wise decision by hiding behind the voice of the dragon and not suffering the shame of showing face in such a shell of a movie. If the book didn't have the gravitas and punch, then the director and producer could have injected some mad skills into the cinematic telling - for once I would welcome the film departing from the book telling if it meant something decent could be inserted in. Just goes to show you that if the story of the book is weak, the film is likely to be weaker still.

I said I would mention the Twilight Saga but that needs a post all its own; I have so much to comment on its utter ridiculousness and what it says about society if millions are so enamoured with it. For shame- but that has to wait til next time!

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