English 12 CP
March 2, 2010
A Monte Cristo Critique: Novel vs. Motion Picture
����������� "Fool that I am that I did not tear out my heart the day I resolved to revenge myself!" (Dumas 408).� These words spoken by Edmond Dantes in Alexander Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo are full of emotion brought upon Edmond by many people in the story.� A motion picture was made in 2002 to honor the novel due to its incredible popularity.� The actors portray the story of Edmond Dantes very well, which keeps the audience interested.� Although the story itself is incredibly interesting, the plot had to be tailored slightly to keep the audience writhing in anticipation.� Ending that anticipation is a stunning conclusion to the story, although the motion picture's end is quite different from the novel.
����������� "He was a tall, lithe young man of about twenty years of age, with fine dark eyes and hair as black as ebony" (Dumas 1).� Though originally a description of Edmond Dantes, the quote also perfectly describes James Caviezel, the actor who took the role of Edmond.� Caviezel's remarkable resemblance to the image that readers envision Edmond would look like, makes him stand out.� Another actor that looks like the character he is playing is James Frain.� Frain is an excellent actor, who shows the resentment Villeforte has for his father extraordinarily well. Richard Harris is also an exceptional actor.� He is able to show the audience all that Abbe Faria has to offer Dantes, which is fairly difficult to do.� Harris's magnificent acting grips the audience and shows them what life is like in a dungeon.� While Richard Harris's appearance is exactly as one would imagine Abbe Faria, "[who] was short, with hair blanched with suffering rather than age", the appearance of the actor portraying Danglars could not be farther from the reader's imagination (Dumas 67).� Albie Woodington appears as Danglars in the motion picture.� Woodington displays Danglars greediness very well, but his yellowing teeth along with the rest of his ghastly appearance throws everything off, as the novel describes Danglars as a younger man who fits into the crowd rather than standing out.
����������� For a motion picture to succeed, it must capture the audience's attention right from the start.� Kevin Reynolds, the director for the motion picture version of The Count of Monte Cristo, did just that by changing the story to appeal to the masses.� He first changed the opening scene, taking the audience to the Isle of Elba before anything else.� This scene was changed from the original simply to grab the audience's attention.� Also, the opening scene is used to introduce the main characters and the story behind them.� Reynolds also made Edmond Dantes and Fernand Mondego friends.� Edmond and Fernand are everything but friends in the novel.� In the novel, Edmond realizes that Fernand is...