Turn The Page: The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
I am so glad that I read this book before I watched the film because if not I wouldn’t have bothered and I would have denied myself an entrance into the work of a wonderful writer.
The film stripped away so many things from the book, and I know how they say that you shouldn’t compare them but it is inevitable — if you are drawn to one because of the other, because you fell in love with one, how can you not compare? I think for me the primary difference was the emotional landscape — by revealing who the patient was from the outset something is lost, but that is not the main failing of the film. Whereas the book is poetic, drawing you in, painting with words in a most beautiful and rare way, the film seems flat, austere, overly self-conscious. The book seems something extraordinary — a work produced by a writer at the top of his game; writing prose that is so poetic it soars and lifts you. In contrast the film plods and becomes nothing but a pedestrian love story, the likes of which are seen every time you bite the bullet and compromise by going to see a mainstream Hollywood movie. What a shame that a pig’s ear was made out of a silk purse, but unfortunately how common. The book remains in high esteem with me; the film is something I have owned but is not something I return to on any kind of regular basis.
Now playing: The Cult – Sun King