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Having Read Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck the section of the book in which Lennie kills Curley's wife, and having watched the same section of the film, do you think that the director made a good job of translating Steinbeck's words into film?

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Introduction

Having Read Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck the section of the book in which Lennie kills Curley's wife, and having watched the same section of the film, do you think that the director made a good job of translating Steinbeck's words into film? What did you find particularly effective in the film, and what would you have done differently? After having read a small section of the novel 'Of Mice and Men' by John Steinbeck and then having viewed the appropriate section of the film the questions above will be discussed and answered in this essay. It will become clear that the director of the film has portrayed the characters on-screen in an effective and clever way, in that he retains the good positive things about the characters. The director has portrayed the film in a certain way from the novel and also has adapted some new ideas to make his film more of a success. I will look at these ideas and sections under camera, sound, lighting, editing and characterisation. Later a section will be written on the differences between the film and the novel; you will come to understand that the information on the choice of characters and the way that they have been translated to the screen, the two main characters we are studying are very differently perceived by the director and these are for reasons, they will be looked at in detail. The evaluation will be the final section, here there will be some alternative ideas of improvements which could have made the film a better representation of the novel. I will also look at the effective and ineffective things that happen in the film and look at them in detail. I will finish the evaluation with a summary of my answers to the title questions. In the section of the essay below, the film will be deconstructed to find out what all the individual technical parts do to make the film effective. ...read more.

Middle

When Lennie leaves the barn after killing Curley's wife it becomes very dark until he opens the door and the bright light shines on him as he leaves. This painfully bright light makes us realise how dark it was inside the barn. This is a very effective technique that the director has used very well in the film. The editing in a film is a very important factor. With a good edit to a scene it looks almost lifelike - as if you were there. By showing certain characters in a certain way and by introducing them to us in a friendly or unfriendly way we get to know the character better. George is the first character to be shown in this scene. We know that he is important as he looks very relaxed but also because the camera pans following him ignoring the other characters. By following George and watching him we are sub-consciously drawn to like him. As he is smiling when we are first introduced to him a nice pleasant image of George is pictured in our minds. The first time the camera focuses on Lennie it moves to a close up, this makes up sympathise with him. He has killed the dog and is very upset about this. The emotions of Lennie make the shot very upsetting but peaceful. The audience is deliberately drawn in to feel sorry for Lennie and not anger at his killing of the puppy. This has been used by the director, almost what the author of the novel would have wanted. During the conversation between Lennie and Curley's wife the camera shots start of as mid-shots but eventually work up towards being close-ups. Whilst the close-up shots are taking place the length of each shot decreases; this shows the mounting tension caused by the two characters. Having quicker shots forces the audience to think something bad is going to happen even without a soundtrack playing. ...read more.

Conclusion

By leaving it out it is more of a surprise when we find he kills Curley's wife on the screen than it would have been if we had visually seen his anger previously. If I was to direct a remake of this film there would be several things I would change. Firstly I would make Curley's wife appear as accurately as I could and make her a perfect representation of the character in the book. If this stopped some female viewers from watching I wouldn't be too disappointed as the film would not really make much money at the Box Office anyway. By making Curley's wife a real portrayal of the book it would have made the story more interesting and would have made the relationship between her and Lennie clearer. I think that this would have been a good addition. Also if I was to change another thing it would be the costume that Lennie wears. If we are meant to sympathise with Lennie it seems a lot harder to do with someone wearing dark, dirty clothes. I have agreed that this shows his character but in essence the director is trying to put across to different types on Lennie and he fails! Finally I will answer the title questions! There were three main questions to discuss and answer and my summary is below. I think Gary Sinese did an average job of translation Steinbecks novel into the film. He left out whole sections and completely changed some of the characters but still managed to capture the atmosphere of the novel and in particular managed to understand the character Lennie very well. I found the switching of the view of inside and outside of the barn very effective as well as other things such as the bird - acting as Curley's wife's soul - flying off up into the roof. I would have changed the character of Curley's wife and the look of Lennie's clothes as his appearance is very shabby. Michael Hough 28/04/2007 10:49 AM 10SEQ ...read more.

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