Finally saw the movie of the book that has been twenty years in the making. Initial impressions are favourable but with room for improvement.
The casting isn’t too bad, but I don’t think any of the actors did a particularly good job, although despite my hope Marvin was reduced to a few odd lines and the voice never really seemed to fit properly. I’m guessing the decision to focus on the blossoming love between Arthur and Trillian also had something to do with the odd pacing, with scenes zipping past one minute then slowing to a crawl the next.
If I’m honest I think that they held back too much, I think they could have pushed it a bit more and made it a 15 rating (or 12a or whatever the one in between is) I mean even the TV show featured the carcass of the recently deceased sperm whale. Now I come to think of it that’s more what this reminded me of, a well produced TV movie. It just seemed lacking in punch for a “hollywood” movie.
Still, large chunks of dialogue were kept intact, and there were some funny moments if never really hilarious. I deliberately tried NOT to refer to the book and on the whole I think it’s better than I thought it would be, although it did take me about 20 minutes to warm to it, even if they did miss out one of my favourite lines from the book: “The ship hung in the air much in the same way that bricks don’t.”
There are some nice nods to the aforementioned TV show and overall it’s not a bad movie. However looking at other book to movie conversions, Potter in particular, it does feel like a bit of a let down. If you haven’t read the books then I think you’ll still enjoy it, Louise did, just don’t expect a comedy romp, it’s far too quirkily British and wry to lower itself to that level.
Ohh and for fans of the book please note that: “The producers have stated that this film is not a literal translation of the books (just as the books were not a literal translation of the original radio show), but all of the new ideas and characters came from Douglas Adams himself. The hired writer simply came aboard to improve structure and make the screenplay more coherent.” according to the imdb.