Sunday, April 18, 2010

To kill a mocking bird

Last weekend, i went to see a play based on the book "To kill a mocking bird". The book is one of my favourite books. The book is great because (a) the story is very good (b) nice depiction of a southern state (c) its a court room drama in some sense and i love court room dramas, but the main reason i love this book is because of its main characters - Atticus, Jean Scott and their relationship. The way the kids call Atticus by his name, the innocence of children, Boo Radley, the neighbor etc and all this makes it a very touching book with a lot of meaning implied in between the lines.

There has also been a movie on the book with Gregory Peck in lead and boy! i love his portrayal of Atticus Finch. He is able to emit that charisma, the sincerity and the affection all so subtly that he is just amazing to watch. Overall the movie is a very good one to watch and in my opinion it is able to carry over the book's narrative and feel to the screen and justifies the book.

I watched the play at mvcpa and was done by Theatre works - . Frankly, i was disappointed by the play. I do not think that it was a bad play by any means but it just exposed the limitations of a theatre. Also, after Gregory Peck's depiction anyone trying to play Atticus Finch had to cover a lot and sadly the play's Atticus felt a lot below my expectations. But it was very interesting to compare the play with the movie. In movies, there is the power of close ups, to capture raw human facial emotion at such a close distance, there is also editing where you can cut a big scene into small ones, making it go faster yet maintaining continuity, the play misses on both the counts. And also the southern accent of actors was a little too much for me to understand. For example the dog shooting scene in the book throws new light on to Atticus and it does so in the movie at all but in the play, we are unable to grasp its affect, the acting of children can not do that much justice. It could also be the fact that i was sitting in balcony (cheaper ) seats and may have missed the fine grained expressions. Yet the good thing about this story is that no matter what happens, the ending is so powerful that it moved me in the play as well. Boo Radley did a great job. The good thing about the play was how cleverly you can use the same stage space to show the different scenes of story and i think the play did quite a good job at this.

As i write this, i think i will have to watch the movie again :)

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