Question of the Day

The natural follow-up to yesterday's QotD is: What film adaptation do you consider to be superior to the source material on which it was based?

The entire premise of Ian McEwan's Atonement [spoiler and trigger warning] is centered on an eyewitness misidentifying a rapist, while the rape victim keeps schtum and marries her rapist. In the book, which I read before I'd read enough McEwan to know he's got a problem with being unable to imagine other motivating events in women's lives besides rape (which is a whole other post that I swear I'll get around to writing someday), there's no suggestion whatsoever that Lola, the girl who was raped, marries her rapist, Paul, in some desperate attempt to redefine what he did to her, nor that she was coerced, nor any other mitigating explanation for the otherwise improbable scenario.

In the film, there is enough hint, largely because its director, Joe Wright, seems better able to empathize with women than does McEwan, that Lola is confused and unhappy and young and generally conflicted about marrying Paul that it makes the marriage more believable. Given that the whole plot hinges on Lola having a reason to not identify Paul as her rapist, one's got to buy the idea that she'd marry him (as the marriage is McEwan's device to explain her silence). It's more convincing in the film, which is, in every other way precisely how I'd imagined the book, so that gives the film the edge.

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