Thursday, 25 November 2010

Any Human Heart

Hm. Good cast, well filmed, well adapted, etc, but leaving me cold so far. Why?

1.) It all seems a bit pointless. The book was great, & the adaptation pretty faithful, but it seems to have knocked the life out of it. It's sterile.

2.) Framing the whole thing with old Logan puttering around in his shed reminiscing with his old diaries is a terrible idea, the reason why the book was moving was because it was someone's diary, which gave it an immediacy. When he grows old by the end of the book, you feel his surprise at how he's aged and diminished, because it's as if you've lived his life along with him. Showing him old at the beginning of the programme destroys this poignancy of ageing and the sense of living his story.

3.) Having to condense it & cut out all the minor incidents & characters makes it less rich. It's a tv series, not a movie, did they have to?

4.) Fatal Hollywood gloss. In the book, his first lover is a dumpy farm girl (yay for dumpy girls!) who seduces him. On TV of course, she is a gorgeous femme fatale. And Hayley Atwell, playing the love of his life, is very gorgeous, but in the book is just an ordinary attractive girl. We like looking at beautiful people it's true, but one of the points in the book is that we don't always fall in love with raving beauties. It just makes it all less real and true. (And they didn't feel the need to cast unbelievably beautiful actors for the men.)

Once again, books pwn tv.


  1. Land in a wig! At that (early) point I started a crossword. They left out the humor of the school days quite apart from the importance of Tess.
    Matthew Mcdoodah works wonders but it's not enough.
    Thanks so much for pointing me to the book - it's very good.

  2. I'm glad you read it, it makes me happy when people read my favourite books. Yes it's all a bit too costume drama and not enough story. Weird, when the writer adapted it himself - maybe it would have been better with someone else.