January 29, 2009

A Sister Act

Well, I was trying to catch up with my movie viewing and saw Doubt last Sunday with my friend Abbi. We had both seen the play and loved it. My observation for the movie version is that the cast were as formidable as the original actors on stage. Meryl Streep, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis were all on even footing in terms of acting in this version. I did like the movie. However, I did find myself feeling that the Sr. Aloysius in the movie was a lot meaner than the play. In the play you'd get the feeling that she was stern and concerned, not here. It's like she was out to get someone all the time. I didn't get that at all in the play. But I'm not sure if that's because of Ms. Streep's interpretation of the role or due to the direction.

This brings me to this point: as a movie audience one is spoon fed a lot in terms of what you get to see. I remember the play didn't even show the child involved nor any of the school children and the convent life. You only got the thoughts and point of views of the main characters via the dialogue and certain scenes. You don't get the whole picture but only bits and pieces. It was up to you to put everything together. I remember the whole time during the play my thoughts kept constantly vacillating between maybe he did it and maybe he's innocent......even to the very end. The movie showed more.....classroom scenes, the convent life, how Fr. Flynn treats the child, how the child is treated in school and as a result, this viewing wasn't as impactful. I was sure he (Father Flynn) did something. To me, this time at least, he was guilty. I don't know maybe it's just me but being spoon fed like this gives me less of a challenge as an audience. But don't get me wrong the movie is still really good. It's just has a different feel to it.

(photo from yahoo movies)


cg said...

I didn't see the play. I watched the film yesterday afternoon. I liked it but I have to agree with you. I was convinced he was guilty until the end when she admits she lied. Theater is so powerful dealing with concepts rather than images. I wish I had seen the play. Thanks for the insightful critique.

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