Watchmen review and its impact
Devoted fans of the Watchmen graphic novel may be grinding their teeth now that the movie has come out. "UNWATCHABLE" read the headline over the review in today's Baltimore Sun. And several other reviewers have been had similar reactions.
I'll withhold judgment until I see the movie, but I know how a Hollywood adaptation can fall short. Frank Herbert's Dune is one of my favorite books, but the movie was truly unwatchable. In a twisted sort of way, the movie's utter failure does make the book hold up even better as a work of art, because it shows how hard it is to capture someone's imagination and mood -- even when someone has written the story for you.
But with all the millions at Hollywood's disposal, it's frustrating to see a great book come apart on the screen. Just look at what "Slumdog Millionaire" was able to do on a tight budget (notwithstanding Salman Rusdie's ill-tempered criticism). The movie adaptation captured the essence of Mumbai's slums and the people struggling to get ahead, as well as a book ever could.