Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Great screen version of great novel

Lord of the Flies (1963)
Starring: James Aubrey, Tom Chapin and Hugh Edwards
Director: Peter Brook
Rating: Nine of Ten Stars

A group of schoolboys are stranded on a deserted island and must fend for themselves. Despite their initial best efforts, they soon descend into murderous savagery.

"Lord of the Flies" is perhaps one the very most effective movie adaptations of a novel I've ever seen. I read the book, and I found it to be a gripping, chilling read... and the movie captured the book exactly!

Not only do all the child actors give great performances, but even the filming style and subtle changes in the way the island appears as the boys drift further and further from the civilized behavior they all know is proper and toward the murderous, pagan savagery that most of them have grown devoted to by the films end serves to drive home the developments in the film. On both a concious and subconcious level, the viewer is drawn into the increasingly brutal and horrifying world of the desert island.

With as many interperations and subtleties of message as William Golding's book--even if the overall thrust is a downer for those who believe in the inate goodness of humanity--"Lord of the Flies" is a true classics that's every bit as engrossing for intelligent viewers as it was when it was first released nearly 50 years ago. It's a true classic that doesn't get nearly enough recognition.

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