Thursday, May 08, 2008

Boycott Brideshead 08!!

well, i was dubious about this new (ahem) "abridged" film version of Brideshead Revisted to begin with. i was trying to reserve judgement until the film was out, but i, perhaps unwisely, downloaded the trailer for it to get a glimpse of what they have done. oh dear.

basically, the trailer presents the film as some sort of early 20th Century variant of Desperate Housewives. now, i am not knocking this TV show and appreciate the large audience it has. i am, however, stating as clearly as possible that there is neither reason, sense nor grounds to go and mess about with one of the finest works of literature ever produced until it is churned out as some sort of artistic, "arty" version of an American soap opera.

the trailer really is rather depressing viewing. it is almost as if the makers have no idea of the gem of a story that they have on their hands, and thus just plunder every intrigue-inspiring byline they have in store and slam in buzzwords to try and get people curious enough to see it. this is a rather bad sign. if they had somehow managed to get a film version of Brideshead Revisited done properly, then i assure you there would be an automatic and large audience for it. if they are using tricks to catch an audience unaware of the magnificent novel or elegant television audience, then they are more or less resigned to the fact that they are going to miss the intended audience.

what the trailer reveals of the film is also enough to make you wince. in the space of two minutes of assembled footage, there is enough evidence to conclude that they have willfully toyed with the themes and plot to create something that serves only the demands of a two hour rotation time at cinemas. i would not wish to spoil anyone's enjoyment of a proper version of Brideshead, but in the basis of the trailer, this is the film industry's biggest misinterpretation of a novel to screen since the disaster that was Bonfire Of The Vanities.

if you have any sort of passion for reading you will no doubt have read Evelyn Waugh's fine novel already. if not, i urge you to rather obtain a copy of the novel and read it instead of seeing this new "interpretation" of it. a very close second to this would be to watch the television adaptation. as usual, i am not in the business of promoting any particular site on the interwebnet, but amazon currently have this at the best available price - they have the box set of the series for less than half of the cost of anywhere else.

this, ladies and gentlemen, is the only adaptation of Brideshead Revisited that should exist in either this or any other world :

it is perfect and cannot be surpassed, no matter how big a screen you put something else on or how many dolby sound tricks you try to use. end of story.
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