In an earlier post, I spoke about this film and speculated that it felt like it had come from a book. I felt that there were things left out, or not communicated clearly. Well, I was right. About the book that is. I’m fully aware that it may well be my own limitations that prevented me getting what I wanted from the film.
The book by Anna Gavalda is marvellous. All the questions I had after seeing the film were answered. Actions and decisions made sense. But there was more. There were other characters either absent or only very briefly alluded to, drawn in full colour. The main characters were rich and full and delightfully frustrating. I wanted to shake them, yell at them, hug them, cry for them, laugh with them. I couldn’t leave the characters behind when I put the book down and I couldn’t put the book down for long.
I want to see the film again. I think this time I could appreciate what the film makers have done. I don’t pretend to be a film maker and I don’t pretend that I know how they could have made the film work for me first time around. Someone said that a screenwriter’s obligation is to stay true to the essence of a book brought to screen, not to reproduce the book. I get that, but to my mind they did stay close to the book. I won’t know until I see it again, if the clues were there and I just missed them.
So if you get the chance, see the movie. But read the book first.