I enjoyed reading your insights, Martine! Wonderful! (NFM)
Posted by Lynne on December 12, 1997 at 02:24:12:
In response to Three adaptation points, written by Martine on December 11, 1997 at 17:02:59
] ] Plus-we learn it was Sophia who wrote the letter to Marianne. WE get the whole, maddening, selfish, complex, dramatic, passionate picture. Even Elinor is moved.
] ] But-I can understand why ET took it out. She is clear in the diaries-it took too much emphasis away from the Brandon and MAriane romance.
] It is a shame that the detail of Will's wife dictating the letter to Marianne could not be included (since HE was the only one who could tell us about It and doesn't get that opportunity.) I've always found that fact very revealing of many things about Willoughby. And yes, the confession would have diverted our attention from the Brandon/Marianne relationship, a very important thing to keep in mind when making a movie. Anything too much out of the main storyline usually comes out as poor, illogical script writing/adaptation. The big screen does not tolerate some liberties that are perfectly acceptable in a book. That is, IMO, what ET had to face a few times and patch up during her adaptation process.
] To illustrate what I mean, here are a few examples of what I'd qualify of "unusual" choices made by JA in some aspects of the story. These are plot choices I couldn't help but notice when I read S&S (I hope I'm not shocking anyone here!) and for which I can see why there would be a need for a change in the adaptation (for the sake of the storyline.) Not that I dislike those JA choices: there are probably what make the book so bewitching, so stimulating for the imagination. Still, here it goes:
] - Brandon: ever present in the book like a "fil rouge" (how do you translate that, Barbara?); less present in the movie (not so much "talked of" as in the book.) yet more striking, enhanced. In fact, the Brandon character might be the one that translated the best to the big screen without much alteration in his actions, the one that almost improved because of the interpretation (A. Rickman) and the cinematographic treatment (if I recall well, he is often shown alone or with someone he is not looking at, or the person is not looking back at him,) and also because his pivotal interventions were not as diluted amid the large amount of information we "hear about" him in the book.
] - Willoughby's confession: as much as I was delighted when I read that scene, I am at a loss to explain how come it ever made it in the book. There was no "plot reason" to make Will appear nicer. It won't do anything for Marianne or for himself. As for us, the readers, it is a catarthic, yet puzzling moment. It feels as though JA herself wasn't sure which way to go...I'm not surprised it was suppressed to preserve the "screen" clarity of the story. Personnally, I think she (JA) had a little crush on Will and couldn't stand that her readers would think him so insensitive and despicable. It is as though JA, in a Godlike manner, had decided to absolve him of his past sins in view of the penance he will have to live with for the rest of his life. Yep ( :-D ) a crush on him, that's all I can think of! And I know Cassandra can understand that, right?! ;-) We all do!
] - Finally, the abrupt resolution of the Brandon/Marianne marriage. Another strange happening (actually, non-happening.) Brandon has been the hero that wouldn't say his name throughout the book. Marianne has loved, suffered, grown up and is now ready to fall in love with him...And we barely get a few pitiful paragraphs on the subject. Did JA run out of time or patience? Did she think that part was self-evident because of all the build-up before hand? Did she judge it sort of irrelevant to the subject of 'sense' and 'sensibility'? I have no idea...All I know is it is lacking so much that our imaginations can't help but want to fill in the gaps...Luckily for us, ET filled in a few of them (like the poem reading exchange: "I must away...Away?!"; the marriage scene with the wonderful image of Brandon throwing money to the wind. Any more?)...For the rest, well, our talented Fanfic writers have done a pretty good job at tackling the task! (and I'll be in heaven if they continue! :-) ).
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