Mystic River: Comparing The Book And Film

1419 words - 6 pages

Mystic River is a crime novel went straight to the bestseller lists on 2001 written by Dennis Lehane. The reproducing film Mystic River by Clint Eastwood also won countless Awards. As Lehane points out in his interview with Linda Richards: “ 50 percent of the reviews has said this is not simply a crime novel.” Which obviously pleased him. The psyches and nature of human are the most fascinating parts in his novel. In the story Dave Boyle was abducted as a child and being molested. He lives under struggle and shadow for his entire life. When his childhood friends Jimmy’s daughter being murdered, he became the prime suspect. But who really is the murderer? Dennis Lehane makes this cliffhang the cadenza in his story. Dave Boyle is no doubt the central character in Mystic River. Dennis Lehane gives Dave Boyle a really complex life story and an unpredictable personality, but Clint Eastwood simplifies this character, which also simplifies the plot, making the movie less complete.
Most viewers of Mystic River have great sympathy for Dave Boyle, but most readers don’t feel the same way. Why is that? The key point is Dave’s pedophilia is not explained clearly in the film. Dave is abducted and molested as a child. In the movie we know that he is affected by his childhood nightmare, “Henry and George” haunt him all the time according to his script. But we do not know how him is being affected by the terrible event, his words“ Its like Vampire, once it’s in you, it stays” are unmotivated. It is hard to figure out what does “It” implies. In the book it is not the same, it is much more clear, the “it” implies pedophilia. As Whitey mentioned in the previous Light: “ ‘No one gets off. First-time offenders, fuck you, you get life on the island. Sorry, fellas just can’t risk you getting out and poisoning someone else. ‘Cause it’s a transmittable disease, you now?” (Lehane 165) Whitey clearly indicated that pedophilia is transmittable, which further points to Dave. Later When Dave speaks about Vampire, it seems reasonable that he is confirming that he is being affected and he is a pedophilia.
Similarly Dave’s splitting personality is not being explained clearly in the film as well. Dave once said to Celeste: “ I didn’t know who came out from that cell.” The truth is the pedophilia came out from that cell and the true Dave that little boy stayed behind. This is the definate explanation that Dave has a different figure inside him. The struggle Dave has been through when he sees the “Goblin” boy is being explained clearly in the book. His sexual urge toward the boy is so strong that he couldn’t even held I, but “he knew deep in his soul that this could be the worst sin of all” (Lehane 289). Later when he sees the boy get in that car and gave him a pitying glance, he collapses. He turns into the boy being molested and the molester as well (Dave the Wolf) (Lehane 290). He wants to kill the devil but he wants to kill the devil in his heart even more. However in the...

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