Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The Secret Garden
Recently, we finished listening to The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I then checked out several film adaptations of the book and yesterday being a snowy day, we decided to watch the Hallmark Hall of Fame version. Let me just say that I have not really seen a truly good adaptation of this classic children's book. I like for Luke to see how film adpatations change things, add things or leave things out from the books. Now, I understand that film cannot truly capture a book because books and films are two very different mediums. There are very few instances in my experience where the movie is better or at least as good as the book. Well, this film opens with a grown-up Mary Lennox returning to her beloved garden and that's when I realize that this story will be told as a flashback. In this version, Mary Lennox and Colin Craven are not cousins. I wondered why such a big deal was made until I made the connection with the film's flashback device. At the end of the film, we return to the grown-up Mary Lennox enjoying the garden and then, the appearance of the adult Colin (played by a very young Colin Firth, by the way). Anyway, Colin then proposes to Mary in their garden and we learn that Dicken has recently died. I suppose the essence of the story is there, but I was still a little disappointed. Well, next up:
the 1975 BBC version of The Secret Garden. We'll see how they compare.
By the way,
Here's my pick for a superior book adaptation: Emma Thompson's 1995 Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant and Kate Winslet.