Sunday, August 3, 2008

Book to Movie: The Tenth Circle

When Julie alerted me to the fact that The Tenth Circlewas adapted as a Lifetime movie, I set my TiVo with decided ambivalence. Since then, it has taken me a little over a month to finally sit down and watch it. My expectations were low and as it happens I was smart not to expect much.

I will admit that it is quite unfair to judge a movie sight unseen, however history has taught me not to expect too much when I learn a book, especially a favorite, has been adapted. I have always firmly believed that there is no real way to adapt 400-odd pages of plot development, emotion and character development into 2 hour movie, a picture being worth 1000 words or no.

Jodi Picoult always packs her novels with twists, fills her characters with depth and emotion, giving us insight to their motivations, while leaving us with some questions. I read The Tenth Circle, when it was first released and haven't again since then, so I didn't remember much. Once the movie started, I was able to recall the larger plot points, which the movie seemed to follow, until three quarters of the way through, where the plot diverges. The juxtaposition of Daniel's comic and Dante's Divine comedy, central to the novel, is merely mentioned in the movie thereby stripped of it's importance.

Far more important than plot, is the emotions a book makes you feel, which is lost in the movie. You don't feel any of the confusion, desperation and despair, even though Kelly Preston and her co-stars do an adequate acting job.

This movie will be repeated continually giving you ample opportunities to view it, but I suggest you pick the book up and spend the two hours getting engrossed in Picoult's writing.

Final Take: 2/5


Julie August 3, 2008 at 10:04 PM  

I haven't read the book yet but should I just delete this off my DVR? :)

Anna August 7, 2008 at 11:23 AM  

I read the book fairly recently, at least three months before seeing the movie. I was disappointed by the movie adaptation, but I usually am, so it wasn't a big shocker. My husband enjoyed the movie and was upset with me being so critical, but he hasn't read the book.

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