07 July 2010

A Scanner Darkly

The difference as I remember it between the film and the book is, the film takes a very externalized view to the proceedings. You see and witness Bob/Fred's breakdown, but you don't live through it with him. You get that it's happening, you see he's confused and disoriented and desperate, but you don't feel confused and disoriented and desperate.

I like the cast, I like the effect and the cinematography, and I like the world and the paranoia -- both the fun of it and the terror of it -- and I think it all got captured great. It's a very good adaptation in that sense, but I have to agree with the consensus of some recent A.V. Club articles I read. This feels like an addendum or supplement to the novel more than it feels like a whole new piece of stand-alone art. So depending on what you want from it, this is either perfect and genius, or a half-empty piece of intellectual art. It certainly says a lot about the pitfalls of adapting too closely to the source material, though.

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