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How effective is Peter Brook's film version of Lord of the Flies?

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Introduction

How effective is Peter Brook's film version of Lord of the Flies? "My devil had been long caged, he came out roaring." This quotation, originating from Stevenson's novel Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, beautifully portrays the point that is focused on by Golding's novel Lord of the Flies. The slow regression from being 'civilised' schoolboys to truculent savages is compacted into an allegorical story that includes many symbolic objects and stages, which could all be interpreted and presented differently. Peter Brook's film enlightened me of a whole new way of interpreting the novel. All films include certain aspects, such as, casting, location and music. Brook has used these basic building blocks to develop an innovative analysis of Golding's novel. Although Brook had added and taken out certain occurrences in his film version it still contains the original message of the novel, it is however presented in a different light. The setting of the film is on Puerto Rico, is an island off the coast of the Dominican Republic. This setting included all of the major places talked about in the novel, for instance the mountain, the fort, and the jungle. The location is includes nearly all the features that are mentioned in the novel and in this respect is very orthodox in its interpretation of the novel. ...read more.

Middle

Another major fact was that the all of the boys were amateur actors. This brought an idea of innocence in my mind, which the boys lost towards the end of the film but it did make some parts of the film disjointed and in coherent. However, I feel that if the boys were trained actors the emotions felt by the boys would have been more evident and therefore the regression of the boys into savagery would have been more exciting and understandable. This version being filmed in the early sixties is in black and white. It also contains many old pieces of music and terminology. I think this adds to the film as it was the era that Golding was writing in and therefore its probably close to what Golding himself might have been thinking. The contrast between black and white also shows up the stark contrast between good and evil. And in the jungle the black and white imagery enhances the mood even further. But, in the novel Golding refers time and time again to colours, textures and tones this part of the novel could only be captured in a colour version if the film. A modern setting for the film would help it to relate to modern people. If the setting was modern more people would be able to understand and enjoy the film, because some of the original terminology such as, "sucks to your..." ...read more.

Conclusion

Whilst this is going on we see where Ralph helps Piggy when Piggy shouts, "Don't leave me." Then suddenly the audience hears and sees the rock thundering down and the last we here of Piggy is a high-pitched yelp. If Brook had shown Piggy strewn on the ground, I think it would have taken some of the imagination away. I think that Brook has left out some scenes from the film because he wants the audience to use their imagination. All in all I thought that watching this film gave me another way of thinking about the novel. Peter Brook's version of Lord of the Flies was effective up to the point that it gets the audience to use their imagination and also to think carefully about the film. However, in this day and age, where people like to use their imagination as little as possible it cannot be fully appreciated by all. The ending for instance contains an ironic appearance that can be grasped by all. However, the deeper meaning of civilisation being 'corrupted' needs to the worked out. If a modern equivalent was made many of the scenes that Brook left out would be added in and although the film would be less disjointed it would have lost the great deal of stress on imagination that Brook's version did have. This film presents a version of Lord of the Flies that is highly effective in retaining the message of the original novel and enhancing it. ...read more.

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