Saturday, February 4, 2012

Movie Review: The Woman In Black

At long last The Woman In Black film finally opened on Friday--and I'm insanely jealous of people who got to go to premiers and get cool stuff and wear veils... sigh! So I'm going to try and do a review without too many spoilers, so proceed with caution whilst reading this...
Of all the posters done for the film, I think this one is my favourite.
First of all let me say that I absolutely loved this film. Loved it, and must see it again, and I've put it on my iPad wish list for when it's released for downloading. I'm coming into this from the perspective of someone who's read the book and seen the play. I felt that both the cinematic and dramatic interpretations of Susan Hill's novella (which you really should read) are quite true to the spirit of the story, but in different ways; alterations were made to the plotting in both the play and the film. Here's the part where you might want to proceed with caution--POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD!

Some thing I particularly liked...
  • I think Hammer Films got the setting, mood and gloomy, spooky feel of the book spot on. Eel Marsh house is gratifyingly creepy and Gothic, the town seeped in sorrow and distress. Love the costumes. Love love love...
  • Daniel Radcliffe--Brilliant as Arthur Kipps. Also thought secondary characters were well done. I thought we saw just enough of Jennet so that it wasn't over the top.
  • They didn't overdo it with crazy special effects. Oh, there's makeup and stuff, but I thought it was very atmospheric.
  • There were some definite nods to the play--the rocking chair, and the ending. The very end *insert shudder*
  • Asim (oldest son) and I differ on this--there are several... instances--let's call them that--where you will either, a) get the shivers, b) feel like you're being watched or c) get the be-jesus scared out of you. He called them cheap shots. I didn't think so. Similar instances happened in the play, but it was a different setting--I don't know if you really can compare film to stage fairly as there are things you can and can't do in one and not in the other and vice-versa, if you follow me...
  • Obviously, changes were made to the plotting. There were some I didn't mind--such as the back story to some of the children, and the ending twist--which was, I thought, original, but managed to retain the spirit of the story. But there were some I wasn't so fond of, which leads me to...

Things I didn't particularly like...
  • I didn't like the way that Jennet's influence over events was changed (Hopefully, that's cryptic enough not to be a spoiler.). The play kept things very true to the book.
  • And I wished that they didn't eliminate the funeral and churchyard scenes--which, BTW, they also adjusted the setting for--I prefer the desolate bleakness of the original. Anyway, the deleted scenes were a far more powerful and effective means of us meeting the said Woman, IMHO.
So, have you seen it? What do you think? I know what my Halloween costume's going to be!

5 comments:

  1. Sorry again for screaming...repeatedly.

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  2. I haven't seen it yet, I've had the book on my to read list for ages. I'll wait now until I've seen the film.

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  3. Sarah--go see the play if you can. Loved the film, but the play is not to be missed! Now I want to read some of her other books... :)

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  4. Loved the imagery... have just read the book and loved the different line the original story took...apparently there are deleted scenes around - anyone seen them?

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