Thursday, April 26, 2012

Book vs. Movie: I Capture the Castle

Hey everyone. It's Julia. A while ago, I did a feature on my blog, CompBiblio, where I compared book to movie. I have been meaning to do it again and I thought I would do it here with I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith.

I reviewed I Capture the Castle at CompBiblio, but here is a bit of a summary of the book and what I thought of it.
Cassandra is our narrator of this story and she chronicles the going on of her family, who are destitute and living in a ramshackle castle, through a series of journals. You can see her writing become better as the story progresses. ...

The cast of characters in this novel are remarkably well rounded. I loved the interactions between them all, and those interactions really drove the plot. The first few chapters are getting to know them and their situation, but the plot really begins when two men stumble into the castle one day. These two men are the new owner of the castle they rent, Simon, and his brother Neil.

Shenanigans ensue.

I really enjoyed this book. It was a fun read and toward the end it was hard to put down. ...

I would recommend this to people who like historical fiction and a fun set of love stories. It really is just a picture of these peoples lives, a really interesting picture too.

I really think how much you in enjoy a movie based on a book or the book it was based on depends in the order you actually experienced the story. Can you appreciate the story told from both mediums? Sure. It just takes a lot of willpower to forget what you originally thought from the first experience. That said, lets look at the movie.

First off, my God! Could the casting of this been any better for some eye candy? The first one I recognized was Neil, played by Marc Blucas from my Buffy the Vampire Slayer days. Then there is the kid who was in E.T., Henry Thomas, all grown up. But the coup de grĂ¢ce is truly a young Henry Cavill. Oh wow! I loved him from the few The Tudors episodes I have seen and he his soon to be superman in the new movie...

Now the actual movie. The book is a very character driven plot which means casting wrongly or over acting would have negatively effected this experience. Luckily, I think the cast and their acting was done really well. A lot hinged on who was set to play Cassandra but she was very good. I was not disappointed.

What they changed early-on, if there was anything, I didn't notice. I did notice them skipping some things, but I didn't mind as it moved the story. In the last half hour though the changes started to become more noticeable. Were they necessarily bad? I don't know. I don't think so. Did they add anything? I don't think they did. I think they were really one of those things that changes when the book is adapted for a movie.

I did have one qualm and that was the pacing. It felt a bit rushed, especially toward the end. Also there were some subtleties that the book had that were lost in the movie, because you were able to see scenes that were not from Cassandra's POV.

Some positives were that I didn't have to deal with some of the repetition of 17 year old in love crap that I had to in the second half of the book. Also the last page of the book bothered the crap out of me, but the way they edited the line for the movie made me very, very happy.

Overall, I enjoyed both of them for what they were. I liked the book more, but I truly enjoyed the movie.

For anyone who is interested in seeing I Capture the Castle, it is instant streaming now on Netflix. And I am sure, since it was out in 2003, you could find it at libraries that have DVDs.


  1. All I really remember about this movie is how hot Stephen was :))) Well, and that I liked the book better (though I agree they did a fine job with it).

  2. I loved this book so much, I might give the movie a go and see how it compares. great book to movie review! I love Henry Cavill haha

    The Cait Files

  3. I agree! They were both so good, but in very different ways. The book is just so phenomenal though, it will always be a favorite. :) And Henry Cavill? Swoon.

  4. New follower here:

    I have come to know that if I watch a movie before I read the book the movie is lost to me because it doesn't always make a whole lot of sense. If I watch a movie not knowing it is actually a book I will read the book in hopes of finding out what I was missing to begin with. If I really love a book and there is a movie I might go see it just because - like {the hunger games} but more often then not the movie cannot compare to the book and I'd rather not suffer through what could possibly be a bad experience.

  5. I watched this movie a while back and really enjoyed it. Figured it was based on a book, but had never heard of it. There was some definite eye candy; I loved that about it! :)


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