Archive for June 6, 2009

Mrs Dalloway
Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

I had always wanted to read Virginia Woolf ,so I guessed this would be a safe read.Not totally disappointed I must say. The story spans across the events occurring on one particular day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway. On this day she is hosting a party at her place. As the day unfolds Clarissa reminisces on her past. Taking a walk down the memory lane she comes across certain incidents , where she wonders if she made the right choices. She meets her former suitor Peter Walsh whose character is so totally opposite to that of her husband Richard Dalloway, a domineering man who has hardly shown his feelings towards his wife in the recent past.The other characters in the story are Septimus Smith and his wife Lucrezia.Mental illness that Septimus is said to be suffering , as the result of his war injuries and shock are dealt by the doctors of the time with insensitivity and utter callousness.A point to ponder over.

Clarissa’s party has people, whom we have met throughout the book in her memories of past.People who have changed for good and bad.Some who haven’t changed at all.People, who make up a portion of her life , which Clarissa holds so dear.A society life she so likes because it brings people to gather.
Clarissa clearly knows that she doesn’t have a happy marriage but being the wife of man with political ambition is no easy job.She entertains her guests keeping in mind their likes and dislikes ,which may have effect on her husband’s career. Clarissa fulfills her role perfectly depicting Woolf ‘s liking for portraying a strong minded woman..

Though the monologues can get a wee bit stretchy, its still a great book.I had seen it on the list on Top 100 books on a website recently , so I am glad I did read this book.Also its my entry for Buy One Book And Read It Challenge

This is hosted by Royal Reviews for the year 2009.

The rules are simple:
In 2009 read a minimum of 6 books that have been made into movies and then watch the movie.
  • Write a review on the Book vs the Movie
  • Be honest about whether or not you think the film-maker was successful in translating the book to film. Please keep in mind that it is impossible to convey everything.
  • You must both read the book and watch the movie within 2009. All genres are acceptable and it doesn’t matter when the movie was made.
Here’s my list:Vanity Fair

Doctor Zhivago

Marley And Me


Breakfast At Tiffany’s

Sophie’s Choice

Having read and reviewed the book Vanity Fair recently ,after many years since having first read it, I thought , how much of the details of the plot I had missed the first time round. I was in school that time ,so can’t blame myself.

The thing that actually reminded me of the book was the movie Vanity Fair starring Reese Witherspoon (one of my fav ) directed by Mira Nair,which I watched a month back.I know it was released yrs ago. I hadn’t watched it before (Nothing against the movie 🙂 I watch movies at my leisure ,sometimes long after their release and seriously try to avoid watching movies which are book adaptations. )Somehow I ended up watching this one . Big Mistake! ! I knew I should have stuck to the book when I saw that all of the director’s efforts were making Becky Sharp a symbol of women power,which she definitely wasn’t.Atleast not in a positive ,justifying sort of way.She is one of the best liked anti heroines of all time .She must have been left that way.Here she was being portrayed as a feminist and was being justified too. To top it, Amelia Sedley ,who in the book is naive and sweet was somewhat of a dim in the movie. The dances and the gory reddish sets they used for the effect didn’t help in anyway. As if this wasn’t enough we even got a alternate ending. No thank you..Very happy with the book ending.

Creative liberty the film makers take is acceptable as long as it doesn’t take off the charm of the book but its horrible when they slash it up and trivialise the vital plot . I know its difficult to get a 700-800 pg book turned into a 3 hour movie without making changes in them but that must not leave the viewer complaining.

Now there can be good adaptations too , like the BBC Book adaptations. I watched that one just for the sake of comparing 🙂 Result: Absolutely loved it.Natasha Little as Becky Sharp was perfect.Beautiful and cunning. True to the book for most of the part , it brought out the essence wonderfully.Thackeray would have liked it,I am sure.Other actors too were great and aptly cast.This did make me feel better.

So the end result: 1 book 2 movies .Thrash the first one Watch the second one

On second thoughts, go read the book 😉