Monday, April 14, 2008

Views on VIEW?

So, did anyone else watch "A Room With A View" on PBS last night? I was excited about seeing a new version, but quickly became disenchanted in the opening segment when I realized the filmmakers had done what they are so fond of doing and altered the story arbitrarily. I cannot stand it when they do this! Why do they always feel compelled to add war sub-plots where none were ever intended (need I mention the debacle that was the final installment of the Anne of Green Gables movies)? Not only do I love the Merchant-Ivory film version of this story, I have also read the book, and this whole World War I caveat is not even alluded to by E.M. Forester. And the way they ended it with her and the carriage driver was just plain ridiculous. Frankly, I felt affronted by their assumption of my gullibility. Why do they think this contrived and false-feeling ending, that they may have assumed was somewhat "happy", is any more worthy than just leaving it at the other "happy" ending supplied by the original author? I also thought their overt references to class multiple times were unnecessary additions to the original plot. I like the way in the book and the REAL movie that the Emersons are just wacky, happy-go-lucky intellectuals instead of lower class untouchables. Also, there is no doubt that George is much more dreamy looking in the original film. And Daniel Day Lewis makes a much more hilarious Cecil than this chain smoking, overcoat wearing blondie. Who did he remind me of? I can't put my finger on it, but maybe you can. This version wasn't without enjoyable moments. The character of Lucy was much more sympathetic and assertive in this version, which I thought was good. And I was glad I didn't have to deal with Freddy's annoying hair in this version.

So, those are my two cents. I'd love to hear yours!


Mendy said...

I planned on watching it, but Michael started talking to me (can you believe the nerve of him? and I missed the first hour so I decided to skip the rest as well. Now I don't feel too sad about it, after reading your review. Another friend of mine just did a post on it as well. Check it out:

Liz W. said...

I agree with you, Wendy. "A Room with a View" was part of my Senior thesis, and I had a hard time with the alterations in this version.

Why mess with something that is already great?

Rachel said...

I'm SO glad that you wrote a review of this. As soon as it finished you were the first person I thought of because I know how much we both love the Merchant-Ivory version. I very nearly threw the book at the tv when it was done.

Amanda said...

Oh,no! Rachel and her book throwing! Sorry to hear that it was so disappointing

Laura said...

I didn't watch this, nor do I intend to, but I do LOVE hearing Wendy get all fired up!!

But I do agree about the travesty that was the third installment of Anne of Green Gables. I only watch it so I can see my Gilbert!!