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Is the film 'Of Mice and Men' a successful presentation of the novel?

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Introduction

Samantha Whittaker Is the film 'Of Mice and Men' a successful presentation of the novel? The film 'Of Mice and Men' is an adaptation of the novel by John Steinbeck, which carries the same name. The film was made, 50 years after the book was first published, in 1987. Starring roles were given to John Malkovich playing the part of Lennie Small, Sherilyn Fenn as Curley's wife and Gary Sinise who played George Milton. Not only did Sinisie star in the film, but he also directed and co-produced it. 'Of Mice and Men' was filmed on location in California as the immense detail in the book could only be justified on a true ranch. The summer days and surroundings could not have been recreated in a studio. Also, this was more practical than building sets that would have been less realistic. As Lennie Small is an interesting complex character with learning disabilities, this would make playing his part extremely difficult to play. As John Malkovich takes on this role superbly, keeping it as true as you can get to the book, it makes the character of Lennie Small my favourite in the film. As for the character of Lennie, there are no boundaries to his characteristics and the range of the features he has. Despite his learning disability he has a great sense of humour and the initiative to create a good joke. Saying this, Lennie is more dependent on George and is often mimicking him. There are many occasions were George will make a statement and Lennie will repeat the idea of what he has said, although not always using the same words. ...read more.

Middle

This is probably because by adding Crooks into the dream, it would make it harder to include it later in the film and to tie up any loose ends caused by Crook's involvement. The second point that is overlooked is Curley's wife's racial and malicious verbal attack on Crooks. In the book, Crooks gets a tad overconfident by having so many, Candy and Lennie, people around him being friendly. He totally forgets his 'place' on the ranch and answers back to Curley's wife. She lashes out at him saying she'll use her position; firstly as a woman, secondly as she is the boss's daughter in law and thirdly as he is a "nigger", to get him lynched. This scene was probably left out as, nowadays, the dialogue and racial threats are not politically correct in any way shape or form. Because this scene is cut, it differs the way Curley's wife is perceived in the film and book, we don't see how clever she is and how she uses her knowledge, power and position to be malicious. In the book, there is a quite surreal scene towards the end, when Lennie is by himself in the brush. He gets agitated with himself over what he has done and all of a sudden, a short, plump lady appears, his Aunt Clara. She starts speaking to him in Lennie's voice. Then after she is finished disappears. Then, a giant rabbit scuttles out of Lennie's head and starts shouting at him. Unfortunately, this is never visually seen as it is left out of the film. It would have been a funny scene and with it being right near the end, would have spoilt the mood; therefore, it was left out. ...read more.

Conclusion

The last thing that is expected, that I least expected, was that George was going to shoot Lennie. The shock of this and the fact George is alone and Lennie dead, provokes sadness. Then, to provoke this emotion even more, the little added scene of them working together at the end almost makes you choke with emotion The film, on a whole, is a very emotional film. Whether it is the happiness caused by when the dream becomes reality; as this is what they have always wanted and deserve. Sadness, when Lennie kills his puppy; as he really did have affection towards it and even though disaster was imminent it was sad. Amusement- when Lennie plays his practical joke; as for a man with learning difficulties it was a funny joke to think of on his own. Anger- when Curley lashes out at Lennie; as Lennie has done nothing to provoke him. In summing up, the film, even though it misses out some scenes, in my eyes, is a successful presentation of the book. The emotions the film provokes at certain moments are the same to those in the film. The film gets the story across well and helps to put a picture to everything in the book especially the appearance of characters and their mannerisms and facial expressions. On its on, without the knowledge of the content of the book, the film is excellent and without fault, although knowing how it has been changed, adjusted and added to, causes some minor disappointments. If the film were to be remade, the only suggestion I would have would be to cast Curley's wife and Crooks differently and also to amend Curley's Wife's wardrobe so it is truer to the book. Saying this, I did enjoy the film as much as I enjoyed reading the book. ...read more.

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