Vantage point

Thursday, May 11, 2006


While on the subject, I am currently reading Alan Moore's graphic novel Watchmen. I'm just about halfway through, and I can't wait to see how it ends.

A few days back, I wrote a postabout how I realised after reading 'V For Vendetta' that the Wachowskis had mangled the story. I also wrote that generally, film-makers make a hash of the book and the only exception seems to have been sin City. Nishit Desai wrote me an email about Sin City saying -

Robert Rodriguez has setup an example to follow when you adapt a novel. Nice little history behind it. Robert Rodriguez was a big time fan of Sin City graphic novels and he wanted to make a film on it, but Frank Miller won't bend because of his previous bad experiences with Hollywood, but Robert kept insisting. He made a small movie based on one of the short stories of Sin City "Customer is always right". He told Frank Miller that he can have a look at it and if he likes then it will be opening scene of the movie, otherwise he can have it is a short film to show his friends. And finally after watching that piece Frank Miller gave go-ahead signal.

During production in 2004, Rodríguez insisted that Miller receive a "co-director" credit with him because he considered the visual style of Miller's comic art to be just as important as his own in the film. However, the Directors Guild of America would not allow it, citing that only "legitimate teams" could share the director's credit . Rodríguez chose to resign from the DGA, stating, "It was easier for me to quietly resign before shooting because otherwise I'd be forced to make compromises I was unwilling to make or set a precedent that might hurt the guild later on."

That's how he was dedicated to the film and these graphic novels. I have both seen the movie and read the novel and I can say, this is the best adaption I've seen. You can atmost find one or two minor deviation from the original novel. Not only that, he also maintains same dark environment as in the novel. Cinematic adaption feels just like you are reading the novel. Although movie/novel sound weird to lots and lots of people, it has huge cult fan following. and fans of novels have become fans of movie too. I have gone through lots of movie boards of the movie and never found disappointed novel fan.

Indeed, only a true fan like Rodriguez can turn novels into films properly. His dedication towards maintaining the sanctity and integrity of Sin City (yes, I know how paradoxical it sounds) is an example that should be followed by everyone. In fact in Sin city, there was no screenplay credit! That's how loyally he followed the novel.

The film adaptation of Watchmen is being directed by Zack Snyder who made 'Dawn of the Dead' a couple of years back. I haven't seen DOTD so have no idea how hopeful/pessimistic we should be about the movie. Maybe the Lord of the Films or the Lord of the Graphic Novels can enlighten us.