A story in a different medium

Yesterday I went to see “The Golden Compass“. I’d read the books many years previously and had re-read them recently. Being aware of the usual book to film translation woes that happen, I attempted to manage my own expectations about the film.

The film’s production company New Line on the other hand attempted to spin this off as another film in the same vein as “The Lord of The Rings” trilogy. The cross-overs being the ring device in the early trailers.

So I watched it.

Well, IMDB has the user comment of “fell short of expectations”, and I think that sums it up pretty well. Not only do we have a continued cross over with LoTR (borrowing principle cast members) but we have a film where a tension device is a slender bridge that collapses…

On top of this the film feels rushed, like everyone is trying to get through a particular set of “content” in a set time. There is no build up, no real sense of the world that defined the books. The story arc has also changed. While in LoTR, it certainly was not the books, it was faithful to the spirit of the books, which is more then I can say for this. While I’m at it, why Golden Compass ?!?! The book is called Northern Lights for a reason! It really felt like the ‘D’ grade director from the New Line class got hold of this.

This is a pity, as I feel there are so many things that could have been done with the visual element that you obviously don’t have in a book. While a picture may tell a thousand words, it also provides you with a way of immersing yourself in the world, which is why you got the book in the first place…


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