3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The Dogma on the Floss,
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This review is from: The Mill on the Floss (Repackaged) [DVD]  (DVD)
Some people get very indignant when directors and script-writers use a little too much artistic licence when putting together an adaptation. You know the score: 'The text is sacred; one shouldn't mar the literary merit of the book' blah, blah, and so on. However, it is that artistic license that stops texts from becoming sterile. Everyone interprets literature differently, and one of the reasons I watch adaptations of my favourite books is because I like seeing how others respond to them. I therefore think artistic licence can be a good thing, and it's something this film could have benefited from. The film has a lot of good points: It is well acted, the props and costumes are great the ending scene is brilliant, and it is very true to the book - to the point of being dogmatic. There are some aspects of books that cannot be reproduced on the screen no matter how good the screen-writer is. Prose can be slow and descriptive, it is also allowed to have long conversations that reveal a lot if you look under the surface. This doesn't always work when one watches it - you do need a bit of action and suspense. When taken out of the context of Eliot's novel some of the little events in Maggie's life just seem pointless because they lose their significance. The scene where Maggie chops her hair off is quite major in the novel but in the film it seems very trivial. The screen cannot show all. I think: Fair play to the cast and crew for attempting to adapt such a difficult novel, but I'm afraid it doesn't really work. Some texts just aren't suited to the scene and should be left alone.