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Customer Review

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good show, a very poor adaptation, 8 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: World Without End [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
I suppose if one watches World without end without having read the book it can be saisfactory. If you are a fan of the book, though, be prepared to be disappointed, because the simplifications and changes are much worse than those in "The pillars of the Earth". Not that it is a bad show: the acting is good, the filming and costumes are great, but the plot tends to be repetitive at times, substituting the subtle steps the characters take, their evolution, with some gruesome act of vilence; every time the horrid Godwin finds an obstacle on his path, his mother Petranilla poisons, drawns or murders someone in some other gruesome way in a feat of motherly dedication, and around the third or fourth murder this tends to be slightly ridiculous. Some of the changes in the plot are understandable, even necessary considering the novel's length, others are just gratuitous. Sometimes the cuts make it difficult to understand who is who: who is Lady Philippa? If you haven't read the book you can't make it out, and anyway, why should she kill herself not to marry Ralph is a mystery.
Bigger problems arise if you are even vaguely familiar with medieval English history. I suppose the show was writtenwith American viewers in mind, and for them I suppose the intricacies of Plantagenet family ties can be even more trying than the plot of "Game of Thrones". Anyway, King Edward III may not be your ideal ruler by modern standards, as he was certainly fond of war as a way of settling international controversy, but he was a great monarch whose reforms had profound effect on his realm, and he grew very popular over his long reign. Here he looks like Disney's King John, subjugated by his mother Isabelle whom, in reality, he got rid of when he was 17. I really find it difficult to understand why the authors thought keeping wicked Isabelle around the show would work better. The trick of turning sir Thomas into Edward II instead isn't so terrible, after all: that the king survived, possibly in some Italian monastery, is a long-lived legend, and it was an opportunity to give Ben Chaplin more space.
I am aware that Ken Follett gave his blessing to this adatpation, but I am afraid anyone who liked the novel will find infuriating, or comical - I do advise anyone who watched the series without having read the book to do so: they are bound to enjoy it greatly.Length won't be a problem, it's a real page-turner.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Jun 2014 21:37:37 BDT
rona main says:
Lady Philippa kills herself because she would rather die than have sex with a rapist and murderer. This comes across quite clearly in the screen adaptation, even though her character is not well-formed.
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