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The film The Governess - Essay Example

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The film “The Governess” knowingly plays with the expectations associated with the theme of poor governess in a rich man’s house by building up the storyline such that romantic feelings develop between the governess and her employer. …
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The film The Governess
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Answers to Questions 9 and 10 Sanders sees alterations and adaptations of texts as a part of a massive hypertext, because one work is often quoted or commented upon in other works. There are parallels between characters appearing in different works, classic literary works for example are critically analyzed in other works and these are the aspects which Sanders draws upon in illustrating his point that there is a massive hypertext, something like a giant storyboard, which forms the base material from which partial or entire amounts are drawn in order to formulate stories. Nudd has a differing view and points out that characters presented in literary works, such as Jane Eyre for example, tend to be different when they are shown on film, because a reader conjures up a picture of Jane in their heads based upon their imaginations while reading. When film adaptations are made, the characters and stories need to be adapted to that particular literary medium; hence some minor characters may be omitted altogether. Since different actors are selected to play the same lead roles in different adaptations and different scenes may be highlighted and given importance in different screen versions, this often means that each adaptation would produce variations of the same characters. For example, the portrayal of Mr. Rochester in the four hour BBC television series was different from earlier versions, because a handsome actor was chosen and the element of sexuality was heightened , despite the fact that it would have been contrary to the Victorian social mores of the period. Every adaptation would thus portray the characters in a different vein, despite the basic plot and storyline being the same.
In general, when a novel is adapted into a feature film, time constraints are imposed. Hence, minor characters are generally dropped from film adaptations. The film maker is likely to focus only upon the key scenes which are germane to the storyline rather than attempting to include all the plot elements. Narrations within the novel which express a character’s thoughts and reactions to a situation are likely to be edited and portrayed through the use of other visual elements which convey the same sentiment in an abbreviated fashion. Such condensation or omission/deletion of scenes and characters from the novel occurs in order to conform to the time constraint of two to three hours that the film medium allows.
2. The film “The Governess” knowingly plays with the expectations associated with the theme of poor governess in a rich man’s house by building up the storyline such that romantic feelings develop between the governess and her employer. Just like Jane Eyre, the protagonist Rosina in the story is a woman of breeding from a poor family and is able to develop a strong, supportive relationship with the employer’s daughter. In a manner similar to Bertha in Jane Eyre, the employer’s wife is sidelined; she suffers from ennui and remains peripheral in her husband’s life.
The film “The Governess” however, subverts the expectations associated with the Jane Eyre type story by ensuring that the relationship between the governess and the employer does not end in a positive outcome. The story also occurs in a more modern setting; as a result, the main characters engage in sexual relations, which they don’t do in Jane Eyre because that story is set in the Victorian era. The character of Rosina is not the shy, retiring type and takes naked pictures of her employer when he is asleep. The story of the Governess therefore attempts to subvert the idealistic background of the original story and demonstrates that such love affairs may not necessarily end happily, neither would the female protagonist always be a genteel, sacrificing young woman. For viewers who approach the film “The Governess” expecting the same kind of idealistic storyline and upholding the romantic ideal of love triumphing against all odds, the film is likely to be a disappointing experience. It portrays the same storyline but in a realistic fashion which shows that life sometimes cuts in and forces outcomes that are not always pleasant. Read More
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