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A group of young boys are stranded alone on an island. Left to fend for themselves, they must take on the responsibilities of adults, even if they are not ready to do so. Inevitably, two factions form: one group (lead by Ralph) want to build shelters and collect food, whereas Jack's group would rather have fun and HUNT; illustrating the difference between civilization and savagery. Written by
Murray Chapman <email@example.com>
Director Peter Brook delivered a very powerful and artfully done film based upon the classic book by William Golding. To those who have commented here about the differences between the book and this film: these are two very different mediums. Brook did not attempt a straight adaptation, he presented Golding's story through his own vision and emotional lens.
The use of non-professional children is one of the things that make this a brilliant film, and vastly superior to the obnoxious 1990's version. If you pay attention to the opening minutes of Brook's film, you will notice that the world presented is nice, normal, clean, and functional. The boys deliver their lines well and the story flows smoothly. Once the boys are on the island, the scenes aren't nearly so smooth in transition, the speech becomes very awkward and the boys interaction with each other is stilted and unnatural.
That is the point! These children know the direction they are going is wrong, to a boy they know this. Yet as individuals they are helpless to stand up to the group. Their awkwardness flows from their fear of being cast out, while yearning to be rescued and return to their homes. The nightmarish quality of the situation is well reflected in the hesitant speech and graceless movements. The uneasy stringing together of scenes makes the viewer squirm, hopefully making the connection to how ill at ease and unnatural the boys themselves must feel.
I'm sure most of you have been around boys of this age at some point in your life. They are prone to being tongue-tied, have few social graces and lack physical co-ordination. That's what makes this film so utterly believable, the boys are real boys, not pimped-out Hollywood trick ponies, delivering their lines in perfect Shakespearean English, while nimbly doing complicated dance moves and mugging their perfect little faces square at the camera.
Golding's book is a masterpiece that can be taken on several levels. Brook's film offers no fewer interpretations of the deeper meaning while presenting a realistic and horrific vision of the basic story. I know most people simply will not get this film. That's too bad because it is a classic.
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