Book vs. Movie: Affinity
Only the die-hard Nyx Book Reviews fans will remember a certain post I made two years ago: Book vs. Movie: Fingersmith. In this one I compared another one of Sarah Water’s novels, Fingersmith, to its mini-series.
After finishing Affinity (my review) last week, I decided to check out if this one had been brought to the white screen as well. And it has, in a two-hour movie with the same name. Here are my thoughts on it.
- I love the choice of Anna Madeley as Margaret Prior. She has just the right appearance; aristocratic and proud, but also slight and sometimes weak
- I’m less enamoured with Zoe Tapper as Selina Dawes. Especially in the beginning of the movie I feel like she is over-acting her role. She is very hostile and aggressive to Margaret. I feel like this doesn’t fit that well in the story, and makes it unrealistic that these two should ever evolve feelings for each other
- Even though this movie is rather long with its two hours, I felt like a lot was left out. The story was slightly rushed, because nothing really happens in the book, every little detail becomes important. And when these details go away, you’re left with… not that much
- Props! Dresses! Carriages in the background! I love the attention that went into these little things
- The matrons are pretty darn scary
- It stays very close to the book, except for the ending; they take a pretty big liberty with that one
- I’m going to put this one both as strength and weakness; the movie is slightly less depressing than the book is. This also means that the characteristic dark mood is less intense
- It’s shorter! Way easier to watch the movie than get through the book
- Great screenplay
- It’s interesting to see how Millbank would have looked in real life
- I was very impressed to see how they worked the big plot twist into the story without making it too blatantly obvious
- Less depressing
- The romance is already stretching it in the book; in the movie it’s unrealistic
- Everything happens too fast
- An in my opinion completely unnecessary character was added that annoyed the crap out of me. Luckily he disappears again reasonably quickly
- The ending of the book is slightly mysterious; in the movie they cut away all the mystery and replace it for something concrete that people can understand. An understandable choice, but not the most graceful one
I didn’t think I would say this, but in my opinion the book is better than the movie. It just has so much more to offer than the screen adaptation. Even though most of the dialogue and the scenes are the same as in the book, I feel like the movie makers took too much liberties with certain aspects of the series. It has turned such a layered and emotional story stale and flat. The movie isn’t bad (it has been nominated for several prizes) but it pales in comparison to the book.