Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Books and Movies

I just finished reading "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel". A story about a bunch of older Britishers who move to India to spend their declining years in affordable gentility. I was glad to have seen the movie first. A movie I was fairly disappointed in I should add, though other elders have raved about it. I found it simplistic and, well, Hollywoodized, though it had a great cast. The cast just couldn't override the pathetic script, in spite of Maggie's crispness, Judi's jolliness and Bill Nighy's wonderful nighyness.

The book, though I did not rate it a 5 star, was so far removed from the movie as to be a completely different tale. There was more complexity to the characters, a couple of love stories that were more believably human and also character redemptions that weren't based primarily on sex. India was depicted in its new persona of industrialized silicon valley contrasted with extreme ragged poverty. The failed capitalistic model wrought in a new century of technological advancement, but alas, for all, less enlightenment.

The big flaw I found in the book was that of too many characters and their offspring. I just hate having to flip backwards through pages to take a refresher course in characters as in: who was (s)he again now? Readers shouldn't have to do physical work along with the mental.

But the discrepancy between the book and the movie is one of the worst I've ever seen, one bears no relation to the other.

Call me a grumbling geezer.


  1. I'm glad to read that I'm not the only one who finds too many characters in a book to make it a laborious read. I was about to put this on my library wish list until you noted that. I love the actors in the movie, which might have also tempted a viewing. Ah well, we're allowed to grumble instead of placidly accept the inferior.

    (A note to say that commenting should now be easier on my blog if you care to try again.)

  2. Okay Grumbling Geezer, despite your devastating criticism, you have aroused my curiosity. But of course you would say, as being Indian I want to see what the differences are. So, Ranjan's legacy takes another hit.

  3. I quite fancied seeing this movie, due to the actors involved rather than the storyline, but it wasn't shown anywhere within reasonable distance from home. DVD release date is mid-September, so we'll probably rent it.

    At least it's not strictly for the young birds, and tips its hat to the fact that there is life after....what...35? ;-)

    Shan't bother with the book, thanks for that warning WWW. I detest having to flick around for reminders of who a character is.
    Another thing that irks me, when reading : characters' names I cannot easily pronounce mentally.

  4. I do dislike a large cast of characters that all crowd one book. It tends to confuse me and I never can keep everybody straight. That's one of the problems with War and Peace beside it being very big.

    I was going to see the movie but never did get around to it and now I'm glad I didn't bother. I'd hate to see something that was inferior to the novel and a figment of the screenwriter's mind.

    I'm glad you do these reviews because I trust you implicitly.

  5. I do agree about books with so many characters you get completely lost. And because there are so many, very few get properly developed as realistic and complex individuals.

    I always have low expectations of book-based films, as however well scripted they are, they seldom convey the richness and subtleties of the book. And in some cases, like Marigold Hotel, they become a total travesty of the original.

  6. Saw the movie too - didn't have high expectations but enjoyed the cast and "fluff" - was OK on that level.

  7. Movies never measure up to the book. Occasionally, they may extract a slim portion of a story they present well, but that's often rare. Then, there are those movies that seem to have purchased the book rights simply so they can use the title.

    I did see the Marigold movie, likely will not read the book. I found the movie to be entertaining, not memorable, one to which I was most attracted originally by the cast. I thought some of the story-line was rather contrived, but I don't know how it was presented in the book. Enjoyed reading your reaction.

  8. Books and movies are two different animals, they usually resemble one another about as much as an armadillo resembles a seal. I enjoyed the movie but didn't think it was deep or very moving. I do love novels with many characters but will not read the book, not because of your comments but because I think there are much better books about life in India today. I enjoyed your comments.


Comments are welcome. Anonymous comments will be deleted unread.

Email me at wisewebwomanatgmaildotcom if you're having trouble.