Monday, November 24, 2008

"The Remains of the Day" movie

There is also a motion picture called “The Remains of the Day” with Anthony Hopkins as Stevens and Emma Thompson as Miss Kenton. Released in 1993, the film is based on Ishiguro’s novel. It is so accurate at times, it even uses dialogue directly from the book. At other times, however, they have altered some details (so be careful not to take the movie as an exact rendition).

Overall, I liked it. Hopkins is brilliant as Stevens... but I liked the book better.

You can find most of the movie on You Tube, divided into several clips. Here is a link to the movie’s trailer.



skram said...

This trailer is really interesting. On the one hand, it seems fairly true to the novel, but something about Anthony Hopkins as Stevens seems off. To me, he is characterized in the novel as submissive to a fault, but the trailer depicts him as more confident and independent than I would have imagined. Perhaps I have some preconceptions about Hopkins that are biasing me. Emma Thompson on the other hand seems perfect as Miss Kenton.

I am intrigued to see how this movie keeps the Western movie-goer interested and satisfied. Whether it is due to ki sho ten ketsu or merely a slow Western climax, I would not think that this novel's internally-driven format would lend itself well to film. I could be wrong though, as it received 97% on the movie review site, Rotten Tomatoes (


skram said...

hmmmm... it may be that the trailer is misleading, but I watched the movie and didn't find that Hopkins' portrayal was too confident. I did find, however, that some of the internal dialogue from the book is lost, so that Hopkins' reasons why he sticks to formalities are sometimes too underplayed (in other words, the novel does a better job at detailing Stevens' internal journey).

As for "ki sho ten ketsu," the movie adheres to Stevens' memories of Darlington Hall moreso than his roadtrip to see Miss Kenton. This keeps the action moving forward as opposed to the action in the novel which is staggered because of Ishiguro's jumps through time (his many "tens" to devellop idea after idea...) Basically, I would say that the fundamental difference between the movie and the novel is that the novel follows the Japanese "ki sho ten ketsu" form, and the movie does not. Whether this is because it is a movie and not a book, or a Western adaptation of a Japanese form (or a bit of both), is unknown.