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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ender's Game

As of recent, I have been ristening (reading/listening) to the Ender's Saga of books by Orson Scott Card.  The first book, Ender's Game is pretty fantastic, in my opinion, but the second and third books in the saga, Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide are by far the best.  I'll will soon be moving on to the fourth in the series.
I recently read online that there may be an Ender's Game movie, which sort of bummed me out.
Like most people, I love the idea of seeing a well loved story on the screen, watching actors bring to life (in a different way) characters I have grown to  know and love/hate.  Ender, the main character (no spoilers here in case you've never read the books but think you might), is a strange mix.  In the first book he is a child who is able to do some seriously heavy and damaging things, the kinds of things that in the real world would make us request a psych evaluation and a long term stay in some institution far, far away.  Nevertheless, you pity him, love him, wish the best for him, wish the world would leave him alone.  The things that Ender does, I don't think, would easily come across well on the big screen.  We (movie-goers and general public, myself included) don't like to see our children being maniacs, killing or being killed.  Its something we still cringe at, and rightly so.  But, if handled the right way, we're often more able to read about them.  There is just something about the written word.  While it is more intimate in many ways, it is still, I think, a gentler way to break the bad news to the reader.  On the big screen, what can you do to soften the blow of challenging topics, other than turn your head?
Watching a child in a challenging situation is not the reason that I am less than enthusiastic about seeing an Ender's Game movie though.  My concern comes when I ask this question: In an effort to shield the public from seeing a child do horrifying things, how much of the story will be compromised?  The fact is, the original story, by nature of what movies intrinsically are, quick blurbs of entertainment, will already be compromised.  There are few movies based on novels, that I can think of off the top of my head that were done true justice.  The Lord of the Rings was a definite masterpiece.  If any of you have ever read Eragon by Paolini, then let me tell you, if you aren't already aware, the movie was a rape of magnificent proportions.  With this is mind, how could we expect the Ender's Game movie to really do justice to the genius of the novel?  I don't see how.

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