Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
I Capture the Castle (2003)
Good movie, better book
This movie was not a bad movie -- as simply a movie, it is more than watchable. But seeing it days after I finished the book, I was disappointed. Perhaps this was as good an adaptation as any anyone could have made, but I felt something lacking. A certain tone that the book had and the movie didn't. I suppose that's the problem with adapting books into films. They can never be quite the same substance.
17 year old Cassandra is witty and somewhat quirky, which in the book, comes across in her writing. The characters are sharp, original, and real. The movie attempted to capture them -- and it was a valiant attempt. But no picture is a substitute for Cassandra's commentaries, and as a result, some of the characters fell flat. James Mortmain, in particular, became merely a moody has-been writer when he was a comical, as well as violent man in the book. Don't get me wrong; I think Bill Nighy played the character well -- but he was never a source of comic relief in the film, whereas I found him hysterical in the book.
The character of younger brother Thomas was also transformed, from a mildly interesting young man into the utterly different nerdy little brother. This was no loss at all cinematic ally, for putting the Thomas we met in the book on screen may have made for one-too-many interesting characters. It just made me a bit sad.
The casting was good, though Marc Blucas was unemotional and forced as the charismatic Neil Cotton. The script surprised me, deviating from the book in story line very rarely. The dialogue and narration, though often different, fit with the essence, if you will, of the story. My main complaint has to do with the last scene, so beware...
*spoilers* The last lines of the book were, "I love you, I love you, I love you" left open for interpretation. The last lines of the movie were completely cliché and flat -- "I love, I have loved, I will love." That may be true, but it seemed an unnecessary and dulling change. That whole scene between Cassandra and Simon was like that. It almost seemed like an insult to the viewer's intelligence. Do they think we can't understand a little well placed subtlety? The dialogue was so blunt and out in the open, whereas the ambiguous quality of the dialogue in the book was one of the reasons I like it so much.
All in all, the movie is worth a watch if you have some spare time, but the book is worth a read even if you don't.