Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Which is Better? Silence of the Lambs

It was incredibly hard to review the book without also reviewing the movie, but I think I succeeded! Nevertheless, now it's on to see which is better, the book by Thomas Harris or the movie, that won a few oscars, including best picture.

Confession time: I watched the movie before I read the book (I've been doing that a lot lately....) but honestly, now that I've been a teacher and worked with students who have reading challenges, unless the adaptation blows (which sometimes it does), I don't think watching the movie before reading the book is a bad thing. Now, I think sometimes people don't want to read the book after they watch the movie because they've seen the movie so there is no point in reading the book which is bad! Unless the book blows (and sometimes it does), read the book too! 

Ok, now back to the Silence of the Lambs movie. First of all, I watched the show Hannibal with Mads Mikkelsen. I loved the casting for that show because Mads Mikkelsen has an other wordly persona and look to him. I knew he was a serial killer before it was revealed in the show (most audience members did), but he gave off that vibe that he was different from the others. That he was wearing a "person suit." Anthony Hopkins was a very different direction but I equally liked him. He's a great actor, and Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal is terrifying in a different way. He sort of looks like a Dad, or a therapist. He seems to blend in and melt away into the crowds, whereas Mads definitely stands out. No wonder so many people died with Hopkins as Hannibal. Eventually, I will go into what went wrong with the other movies and the show, but for now, Silence of Lambs deserves every one of those Oscars. 

Jody Foster as Clarice Starling is magnificent, but of course she's awesome. That's what makes her Jody Foster. She's understated, gritty and determined to prove herself. She brings more life to the character and even though I try to separate myself from the movies when I read, all I could think about when I was reading was her as Clarice Starling. 

What I liked about both Hopkins and Foster is that they brought more life to the story than the book itself. Not only was it acted well, the script and the direction of the movie makes it a masterpiece. The reveal of Buffalo Bill, the downfall of Chilton (who, to Harris' credit, creeped me out MORE in the book) and the cinematography just brings the story of Hannibal and Clarice together. Whereas the book does a lot of tell, instead of show, the movie does a great job of doing both showing and telling. They interject information into dialogue that the audience needs to know, but doesn't do it overtly where it makes me want to roll my eyes. 

It's very clear to why Silence of the Lambs Oscars. When I was telling a few friends that I watched Silence of the Lambs for the first time and then read the book, they all agreed that the movie was better than the book, and they also commented that type of film wouldn't have been nominated for an Oscar today. I'm not a huge film buff. I like movies and I have some knowledge of them, but I don't actively follow them or care about awards season. However, I can see how they could make the statement that Silence of the Lambs wouldn't have made a big dent in Oscar season. That type of movie now and days don't really get nominated for Oscars. 

Keep an eye out for the rest of my reviews on the Hannibal series and the movies. I did watch all the movies (besides for Manhunter) before reading the books for "Shock-tober." My husband states that the books get progressively worse as the series goes on, but that is to be determined! Stay tuned! Comment below if you disagree with my review of the movie or my opinion of the book! 

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