Thursday, January 26, 2012

Scott Pilgrim: Movie vs. the Book

The graphic novel series Scott Pilgrim by Brian Lee O'Malley is one of the few books that I can separate from the film. That's the goal of any director who translates a book to the screen, they want their vision to be able to stand apart from the original one. I can honestly say that Edgar Wright managed to do that with Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010).
The thing I liked about the books that I feel the film captured well is the visual aspect. So much of a graphic novel is the characters' facial expressions and what is going on around them. I loved how Wright captured the comic book feel and unique style of O'Malley's books.
The thing that the movie brought to the next level was the incorporation of music. Since it is a series about a band and O'Malley has numerous and varying musical interests it only makes sense that the film had an awesome soundtrack.
I also thought the casting was perfect. I loved everyone, Michael Cera playing his normal "I'm-socially-awkward-but-at-the-same-time-kind-of-a-jerk-don't-call-me-Jesse-Eisenberg" role and Mary Elizabeth Winstead playing to all facets of Ramona's personality from her complexity, vulnerability, and toughness. My personal favorites were Kieran Culkin as Wallace Wells and Ellen Wong as Knives Chang even if her character lacked the emotional depth and growth that her book counterpart had. I just thought that Wong was adorable and just desperate enough.
The one thing that I did not like about the film was the ending. I thought the book's ending (#6: Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour) was very well done and provided a full amount of closure and understanding about the characters' personal journeys that the film lacked. I thought especially Ramona's motives became more clear and her character more likable.
Overall, I loved both experiences on their own. I need to see the movie again now that I have read the book so I can compare them more thoroughly.
Movie review: No milk needed 
Book review: Needs milk 

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