Sunday, 20 November 2011

The help, Kathryn Stockett

A best seller book written by Kathryn Stockett, which had been rejected more than 60 times by literary agents and publishers, till finally got printed.  I read this book while I knew that somewhere in the south of the United States the film shooting was taking place. If I didn’t know this, I must say that it wouldn’t cross my mind that this book could be adapted to a movie easily. 

It’s always tricky trying to get a book into the big screen and especially the ones with a huge impact to the audience. However this novel in question needed extra caution and delicacy in order not to become an offensive or meaningless movie. 

Reading this book made me admire the author for being able to be so realistic and original. One of the hardest things that a writer can or sometimes has to do is to create different and outlandish characters, particularly in this case when the author tells the story through two black maids. So clever and captivating but also demanding to give voice and speech to someone that nobody would expect. Stockett manages to criticize a whole conservative and racist society; proves the irony of all this.   Black maids raise white kids, while they are not allowed to use the same bathroom. The characters are well structured, showing that everyone has a story to tell and the only thing that you have to do is listen to it.  I think that the author manages to illuminate this beautifully.   

On the other hand, watching the movie I got a little bit disappointed. There was nothing wrong with it, I mean that in general speaking it was a touching and funny movie, but the book was more than this. The casting was adequate and everybody approached their character with the best possible way, but something was missing. I didn’t enjoy the fact that the screenplay was a bit more humorous than the book; neither liked their attempt to change it into a light movie. After all there was nothing light about it. And I still don’t get why they modified the role of Sketter’s mother, it seemed less genuine. I know that the audience always looking for some kind of redemption, but in this case didn’t fit well. 

Well, the funny thing with this adaptation it’s actually that the movie wasn’t bad, it didn’t hate it neither like it.  I mean there were not big alternations or misconceptions, but still it lacked of spirit. When I finished the book, I recommended at once, but I didn’t do the same with movie. 

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