Music and Movies / Medicine River

Medicine River

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Autor:  anton  08 September 2010
Tags:  Medicine
Words: 557   |   Pages: 3
Views: 390

Medicine River

I enjoyed the book Medicine River, by Thomas King as well as the movie, which was based on the book. Although there were profound differences between the two, they were both pleasantly constructed. Having been instructed to read the book first, I was able to experience the full effect of the story and the message that the author intended for his readers. Although the book and the movie clearly relayed the same story, I would’ve better enjoyed the movie if it had included more incidents from the book, such as the visit from Harlen Bigbear’s estranged brother, and the ‘bridge jump’. I also wish the producer would have incorporated the many flashbacks that the main protagonist, Will, had from his youth. For example, the letters written by his father to his mother; the stories about his mother and her best friend; and the relationship with his brother James, namely, the childhood pranks that they played on one another. I am, however, aware of the time constraints involved when producing a motion picture, and I realize that the script had to be somewhat altered considering the medium at hand.

I found the book to be easy, exciting reading because the story line was very realistic and easily relatable. This book flowed for me to a point when, at times, it was difficult to put down. Several scenes pleasantly caught me off guard and some were extremely hilarious, namely, the visit to Martha Oldcrow. I found myself really fond of the characters, especially Harlen Bigbear. Harlen came across as a sort of ‘trickster’, but a likable one. He was gentle, caring, and harmless in his own right. Will, the protagonist, was very likable as well. However, his character only evolved for me as a result of Harlen’s unconditional and relentless friendship with him. In short, Will’s character would’ve lacked without the likeness of a Harlen Bigbear. The character naming was also very ingenious. The Oldpersons, Prettywomans, baby South Wing, and others were interesting and clever last names that made the notion of identifying with the characters even more interesting and the reading, fun.

The movie was surprisingly good, as it was well scripted and directed. I particularly enjoyed the scenery as well as the choice of actors. The beginning of the movie was drastically different from that in the book with Will being cast as a war captive in another country. Also different in the movie is the fact that in the beginning scenes Will finds out that his mother passed, and doesn’t make it to Medicine River in time for her funeral. With all of the alterations that were made in the script, I found it an interesting and nice addition when Harlen persuaded Will to hire ex-convict Clyde Whiteman as an assistant in his photography studio. The only change which I was not particularly fond of was the addition of Will’s boss Ellen. Particularly, her persistence to continue in their affair, despite Will’s disinterest. Overall, I really enjoyed the movie. However, I was thrown off guard by the order in which the scenes appeared compared to the order of events in the book.

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