Freitag, 2. November 2007

Angels and Insects directed by Philip Haas

Angels and Insects is a 1995 adaptation of the novella Morpho Eugenia by A. S. Byatt starring Mark Rylance, Kristin Scott Thomas and Patsy Kensit. Because I've just read the book and we discussed it in class it is a bit difficult to not write about it as an adaptation of the novel. I can't judge how you would like the film if you had not read the book. As an adaptation it works pretty well though. There are no major changes in comparison to the novel, only two things were left out that I missed. The dialogues are mostly word for word as in the novel. So if you don't manage to read the book watching the film gives you a pretty good idea.

I pretty much liked the casting of the characters. I was a bit sceptical about Mark Rylance at first because I had imagined Adamson younger looking. Kristin Scott Thomas as Matty Crompton and Patsy Kensit as Eugenia were brilliant opposites of each other, Matty being rather skinny and darkhaired and very resolute, and Eugenia being blond and soft. The overall look of the film was nice but I had still imagined it more decadent, heavier and richer in colour. I found a lot of scenes too pale (I'm just talking about the colour here). The first scene already looked so much different in my mind from what I saw in the film. I'd have had the surroundings darker and the girls not in those horrible bright dresses but in something more pastel, making them more feminine and desirable and more like a mixture of butterflies and fairies whirling by, as William sees them for the first time. The filmmakers went for a direct copy of the bright butterfly colours but my sense for colours found that rather disturbing.

I won't talk too much about the story as I've already said that there is not that much plot, more ideas and notions and discussions of the clash of tradition and modernity. But I was rather surprised that I found the film not in the least as longish as I found the book when I read it. It's almost two hours but time went by pretty fast.

So, bearing in mind that it is always very hard to watch an adaptation if you have still the pictures of your own imagination in your mind, I say this was a pretty good one, very accurate to the tone and mood of the novel, if not always corresponding with the picture I had in mind.

7 out of 10 moths.

(This time it's moths because that scene completely freaked my out. Uhhhaaa, crawling flapping insects give me the creeps.)