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the movie does this book some favours
on 6 April 2014
after watching "the lincoln lawyer", i followed my urge to compare the movie against the book. while the storyline is more or less the same in both, there are subtle differences in the order of events & the way in which the main character mickey haller is represented. in the book, the author has this tendency to over-explain what is happening as the story moves along. being new to the protocols of court & how defence & prosecution lawyers conduct their business with clients, i found the insights offered by connolly interesting & useful, particularly when it came to understanding the bureaucracy which lawyers have to navigate in us law & just why haller was able to achieve what he did.
however, the level of detail can go too far in relation to the characters & their various relationships. sometimes connolly over-explains those as well, removing your potential to emotionally invest in the high stakes haller is facing by filling in the gaps which should be rightly imagined or telling you how to perceive the relationships of the characters. for instance, i thought it was really intriguing to see an on-screen couple who had divorced still maintaining a depth of intimacy you would commonly expect from a couple who hadn't.
alas, your curiosity regarding this set-up in the book is swiftly taken out of your hands, as well as the feelings of haller when mourning the death of his best friend & colleague levin. the author just keeps telling you & telling you exactly how you ought to think & feel about the characters, each & every time! as a result, you are left with a tenuous connection with the characters at moments you really shouldn't. the sense of desperation & anger which haller goes through, for example, was but a puff of air to me; i never felt as if i understood how much his family meant to him.
fortunately for us, the movie makes amends in this area & re-arranges some of the tricks haller pulls so that you can actually appreciate what a wily son of a bee he is. funnily enough, the author praises mcconnaughey's portrayal of the character, saying that the actor had played him spot on. well, isn't that ironic. perhaps connolly could watch this film again & take some notes?