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Although it may sound a bit strange, I am a staunch proponent of the idea that the adaptations to the cinema or the television of the works belonging to any other field —as the literary, with which we are dealing, in this case, should be called “translations”. And is that this type of productions are not limited to moving a plot, a few arguments and a few dialogues from paper to the screen, but translate stories from one language to another.
these Are precisely the marked differences and the different possibilities offered by the literary language and the audio-visual which, in one way or another, you will end perverting the original material; either by the search for maximum fidelity, by the need to take licenses to refine the story or by a tendency to wandering among the waters of the literary and the filmic.
This is perceived with greater intensity when we talk about works particularly extensive and complex in its narrative, as it is precisely ‘The friend of great’: the acclaimed novel of the writer neapolitan Elena Ferrante that has been “translated” —or adapted— to the television format by HBO in an ambitious proposal whose boot bury between a pace tedious and an excess of literalness their superb atmosphere and production design.
One of the main mechanisms that lead to dullness more desperate in the first two episodes of ‘The friend of great’ has to do, precisely, with the embrace of the filmmaker Saverio Costanzo to a literary device as it is the first-person narration, here represented under the form of a voice in off tiresome and unnecessary is revealed as one of the hallmarks of the series.
non-constant, but more frequent than should use of the off to emphasize feelings and emotions, and to create transitions that provide continuity to not a few jumps temporary that populate the story, in addition to slow down the pace, it is displayed as an alternative to unexciting and monotonous to passages that could have been mirror images more effectively and concentrated; discovering Costanzo lost in translation.
This tendency to excess is seen also in the desire to add a plus of drama to the evening’s most emotional moments —and even those that are not— just playing on the counter, by underlining them with the use of a wonderful musical compositions from the ever-brilliant Max Richter that, in the hands of the director and his team, the transform the beautiful in irritant on the basis of repetition and insistence.
Where it displayed itself virtually flawless ‘The friend great’, despite the odd slip-up in the first episode —something “tv show” in one of its passages, is in your fantastic achievement, on your invoice, technical and, above all, a remarkable production design that takes us back to the tense and dusty environment of the Naples of the 50’s through the eyes of two little girls discovering a world of adults who don’t quite understand.
The vast microcosm contained in the neighborhood napolitano in which is set series, full of rivalries and networks that do not take in lead to violence is always latent, forces Constance to take your time during the first act dump in the descriptive and in the presentation of characters. Something that slows down the progression of the narrative and is not invited to continue with the six remaining chapters of the first season.
luckily, the final turn of the second episode, it opens to a sub-plot that stands as the main excuse to move ahead with a ‘friend great’ that should be delinked from its literary origins to fully exploit the solvent cast and the nerve Italian that is overshadowed by the yawns and glances at the clock.
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The news ‘The friend of great’ bury with a pace tedious and an excess of literalness its magnificent setting was originally published in Espinof by Victor Lopez G. .
September 29, 2018
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