I’m usually not a fan of turning a novel into a book and this movie just proved why and then some. They strayed so far away from the book I couldn’t believe this movie was based on the book we read in class. It’s like they took the central ideas of the novel and then made something completely new. This new version is a total disappointment.
First off I’m disappointed in the characters of Bernard and Lenina. Let’s start off with Bernard. I’m upset that deviated away from the book and made Bernard Mr Popular. That took away one of the core plots and storyline from the novel. They didn’t give him none of the physical attributes that he had in the book which took away him being an outcast in the society which is a core point in the novel. It would be nice to see how he compared to all the other alpha plus males. Since Bernard is an outcast it drives him, I believe, to bring John and Linda back so he can seek his revenge on the director and which ultimately causes his downfall in the end. Bernard being popular leaves no need for one of the pivotal characters I believe, Helmholtz to be in the movie. They just completely removed him. Helmholtz is what keeps Bernard grounded and he shows that not everyone in the World State is perfect. That Bernard isn’t the only one with flaws. I don’t like that made him and Lenina the main characters in the movie. Unlike the movie in the novel it’s several different story-lines that are intertwined but yet separate and it makes the story that much better.
Lenina’s portrayal in the movie was another disappointment. I like the fact that in the novel she was weak minded and couldn’t understand nothing outside of the realm of her conditioning. I like the fact that when free thinking people like Bernard and John tried to explain something to her, or get her to get in tap with her emotions she just couldn’t understand. It brought conflicts in the book and it made for a great read. In the movie she seemed so sassy and able and willing to convert to the free thinking ways of John. That made the scene with her altercation with John inside his apartment not necessary in the movie and I would have loved to see that scene played out on a film. I think that was good part in the book because it showed the love between John and Lenina but because they are from two different worlds they can’t understand each other and they can’t jump over that hurdle and it proves to be difficult to be with each other. They also just completely changed her job, they switched her from a nurse in the conditioning center to a teacher.
They also removed Henry Foster and all the people at the reservation. The controller was also a disappointment. He seemed so much wiser and worldlier in the book. He understood Bernard, Helmholtz and John. He knew they weren’t outsiders but they were just free thinkers who knew it was more out there than the conditioning and that made him appear to be more of a person of high regard. In the movie he just seemed to be the big boss, no one special. The fact that Bernard was popular and wasn’t an outcast took away from some many other characters.