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The Swwet Hereafter Novel Compared To The Movie

1134 words - 5 pages

The Sweet Hereafter Novel compared to the Movie "˜The Sweet Hereafter' is a gripping tale of a small U.S town and the people who dwell in it. A saga of four vivid, sensitive souls linked in a school bus tragedy: the bus driver, the widowed Vietnam Veteran, the lawyer who tries to shape the heartaches of the towns people into a winning case, and the beauty queen, Nichole, who was left crippled by the crash. The novel was written by critically acclaimed author Russell Banks, from which spawned the Oscar Nominee movie of the same name directed by Atom Egoyan. The movie stays true to the spirit of the novel yet was still a notch below its artistry. Those who love both movies and books to the same measure would prefer the novel version to the movie due to Banks exquisite use of narration (four different narrators), character and shifts in time period.Credit must be given where it is due, there is no doubt that "˜The Sweet Hereafter' movie is an exceptional piece of work, but the fact remains that its is still two steps behind the novel from which it was adapted. There were a few characteristics of the movie that made it less worthy than the novel. One thing lacking in the movie, which is present in was novel was the narrative voice of different characters such as that of Dolores Driscoll, each character chosen by Bank's was remarkably different, providing contrasting angles and meanings on the same event. In the beginning of the novel the reader is introduced to Dolores, she was the woman behind the wheel of the bus when it plunged into a reservoir. She is a sympathetic character in the book; the reader shares the overwhelming grief and guilt that she feels over the accident which killed 14 of the town's children. In the movie she hadn't enough exposure for the viewers to understand how she felt, and to see her perspective on the whole issue, all the hardships she went through were not revealed to the reader as they were in the novel. To the viewers eye Dolores was a minor character while in the novel she played a large part in the unfolding of the plot.Nichole is a character of much importance, through her narration in the novel the reader was able to view how she felt about the accident and everything surrounding it. Unfortunately in the movie she only had a very minor narrative role leaving many loose ends in the movie since a lot of things remain unsaid. One thing that is wrongly interpreted as a result of the lack of narrative voice on her part is her sexual relationship with her father. In the movie it almost seems as if Nichole likes what her father does to her, it is as if she wants it. In the movie when Sam takes Nichole into the barn she shows no sign of resistance, when they enter the special room, it is lit with candles, which are usually a sign of romance. Her feelings of this whole subject are quite ambiguous in the movie while in the novel through the use of effective narration it is clearly shown that she despises her father...

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