Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Waugh, Waugh, Waugh!

We’re crying over this adaptation:

Ross Douthat says that the apparently over-sexed adaption of Brideshead Revisited may be just what the novel needs, because even Waugh thought his book was sentimental and sappy. We agree that parts of the novel are overwrought, but it would be nice to have a movie that didn’t elide the novel’s Catholicism…or compress the time-line to create a bi-sexual, pseudo-incestuous love triangle…or turn Lord Marchmain into a proud pimp of a pappy.

That’s not to say the movie shouldn’t be sexless; after all, the novel is subtitled The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder. And of course, it’s dangerous to assume too much from a trailer alone. Maybe the preview intentionally misrepresents the film to generate more interest, and the movie is actually a fair adaptation of the novel, one in which Catholicism is presented as a serious and positive force in the characters’ lives. From the looks of it, though, we’re afraid that this movie will be as disappointing as the 1999 adaptation of The End of the Affair, which took some, er, liberties with the strength of Sarah’s conversion.

(By the way, we're tempted to agree with Douthat’s claim that the Sword of Honour trilogy is Waugh’s superior serious work. But Waugh swings too far into his ironic mode with his [SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT] sudden, unsatisfying, and emotionless description of Virginia’s death.)

No comments: