22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
At last - my affinity,
This review is from: Affinity [DVD]  (DVD)
AFFINITY is one of my favourite books - it is definitely my favourite by Waters - and so I was thrilled when I learnt that it was going to be adapted into a drama for T.V. Perhaps because of how much I like the novel, I have to admit I was slightly worried about watching the adaptation - having read the book, I had certain hopes and expectations for any kind of production of AFFINITY. However, I can happily say that I need not have worried.
The story is about Margaret, a young woman in Victorian England who has recently lost her father. As a way of escaping her sorrows, she volunteers to visit the female prisoners of Millbank prison, to become a confidante for them. Upon her first visit, she comes across one prisoner who seems different to the others; there is a calmness about her, and in her hands she is holding a perfect violet. This prisoner, Selina Dawes, intrigues Margaret, especially when she learns she calls herself a medium, and so she begins to visit her regularly. As they become closer, the tension builds. Selina has influences on Margaret that she could not have forseen. And she becomes convinced that their souls have an affinity for each other.
That is all of the plot I shall give away. What I loved about this adaptation is that, to a large degree, the atmosphere that Waters creates in the novel remains. The way that you are able to see each woman as being in her own prison is very well done, making you realise that there are more ways to trap a person than just with bars and metal. The gradual development of their relationship is also dealt with well. Rather than being gratuitous, there is a real sense of sensuality; a tamed desire that is also bound by walls of a different kind.
On the downside, there were certain parts of the adaptation which could not have the same effect as they did within the pages of the book. One example of this, for me, was when Margaret is shown the room where all of the women's belongings are held. In the book, this scene is quite harrowing. It is likened to a group of coffins for children, and there is defintiely a sense of invading privacy. However, in this adaptation these feelings were not so strong. Granted, I appreciate that this would be difficult to create, as the audience is not able to enter the mind of Margaret as they would do if reading the book. It is only one observation on my part, and it is because of this that I would urge people to also read the book. I think there is much more to this story that is lost on the screen.
However, despite this, I would thoroughly recommend this to all people who enjoy romance but with a little darkness added.