DAY 14 - A BOOK TURNED INTO MOVIE AND ABSOLUTELY DESECRATED
I could waffle on for hours about just how much I enjoy Sara Paretsky’s V I ‘Vic’ Warshawski novels, so I had a real fangirl squee moment when I learned that Deadlock, the second book in the series and my favourite was going to be turned into a movie.
There are so many things I love about these books. There's Vic herself - smart, sassy, and always ready to fight for the underdog. We get to know her interfering, but kind-hearted neighbour, Mr Contreras, and her best friend and confidante, Dr Lottie Hershel. And through flashbacks we learn about Vic’s childhood growing up with her beloved, hockey-mad cousin Boom-Boom (who becomes a star player for the Blackhawks), and the bittersweet memories of her homelife with her police officer father and her opera-singing Italian mother who dies when Vic is in high-school.
Unfortunately we don’t get any of that in the film.
Oh dear lord, it was awful. Why do some screenwriters think that their version of the story is so much better than the one the author intended?
The book version of Deadlock is a tense crime thriller, revolving around Vic trying to find out if Boom-Boom’s death was an accident or murder. But 'V I Warshawski' turns it into a horrible mess of a comedy crime caper. Much-loved characters from the books are virtually unrecognizable. We aren’t given the reasons why Vic treasures her Venetian wine glasses. And the worst part is that Boom-Boom Warshawski is no longer Vic's cousin, but becomes Boom-Boom Grafalk and is turned into a potential love interest. He is killed off early in the film and Vic and his teenage daughter team up to track down his murderer.
I should point out that I have nothing against Kathleen Turner. She’s actually pretty much how I imagine Vic to look like, but she just had some bloody awful material to work with. In fact she narrated Deadlockfor BBC Radio 4 a few years after the film came out, and it was wonderful. It’s a shame I can’t say the same about the film.
PS. The film version of One Day deserves a mention purely for Anne Hathaway's appalling Yorkshire accent. Believe me, I know what I'm talking about.