Friday, June 3, 2005

Their Eyes Were Watching God- Movie

I had trouble with this post when i first posted it. So I'm going to post it again. movie, “Their Eyes Were Watching God” did not stay as true to the book as it could have. The movie left many things out particularly many of the metaphors and folk traditions, which made the book so colorful. It was very oversimplified and focused on Janie’s search for romantic love that was only part of the theme. Additionally the speech was modernized.
Many of the metaphors were left out. For example in the first chapter Janie compares her self to a peach tree blossoming while she receives her first kiss. This was not discussed at all in the movie. The scene at the end with the flood was taken to be more literal in the movie than it appeared in the book.
Another thing that was greatly disappointing about the book was the modernization and clarification of the language. One of Zora Neale Hurstons’ accomplishments was her brilliant ability to capture of African-American speech during the early 20th century. This was almost completely destroyed by the movie. As far as Halle Berry’s interpretation goes, the only allusion to this is how she refers to her friends as “girl” that may be more modern.
The movie did retain some of the important themes from the book, including that of women’s place in society and the ideal of romantic love. One of the themes that Hurston wrote about in the book, was Janie’s strong need and will to simply be herself, which I felt was sidestepped in the movie in order to place emphasis on the romance in Janie’s life.
The movie that was well done seemed to oversimplify many of the aspects that were important in the novel. The movie is a decidedly different interpretation of the novel focus on romance and the search for it.

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