Sunday, August 29, 2004

Mrs. Dalloway the Movie

Took a break from the Olympics last night and watched Mrs. Dalloway on DVD. It's a 1997 British film starring a too old for the part Vanessa Redgrave as Clarissa Dalloway. Even though she was a too old, I couldn't think of who would have done a better job at the role. The film was pretty good. Mrs. Dalloway is written in stream of consciousness and the movie does an admirable job of making linear sense out of it. It helps that many lines are taken directly from the text. A good looking Rupert Graves plays a decent Septimus Warren Smith. I think Graves went a bit too overboard on the shell shock, perhaps believing it necessary to make it more obvious for the viewing audience since much of Septimus is internal in the book. My main fault with the film is that it is emotionally dampened down. The actors try to make internal conflict visible and there are even a few voice-overs for Clarissa, but the emotional drive from the book does not translate entirely to the screen. My Bookman enjoyed the movie, however, and he has not read the book. He says that now he feels like he could read the book and get through it since he knows what to expect in the story. As for me, of course the book is better, but this is a movie that belongs among the better than average book adaptations.