Monday, December 22, 2014

Movie Monday: Bloom

When opportunity arises, I feature Movie Monday. I recognize few people have the time or desire to read the amount I do, especially when it comes to the 100 Best Novels list. Luckily, Hollywood loves adapting a classic and I love a good story in any form.

You all may remember last fall when I reviewed Ulysses by James Joyce. The book ranks #1 on the Modern Library list and I had quite a time with it. Long story short - I didn't like it. I recognize now that I should have taken the time to seek out some supplemental materials that would have helped me understand the book better. Maybe next time, if that day ever comes.

In the mean time, I thought perhaps a film adaptation would help me understand some of what I missed in the written format. There are at least two film adaptations and this one, Bloom, was made in 2003. It doesn't follow the story precisely. It centers more around Leopold Bloom than Stephen Dedalus. In addition to both men, it also spends some time on Molly Bloom, a character barely explored in the novel.

At first, I did not realize the triple narrator set up and was confused when Molly began narrating the movie. After the first narration transition, though, I began to get the gist.

Watching the movie definitely helped me with the whole inner dialogue thing. This is a concept that can be very difficult to relay in written form but, in the film, it comes across much more natural and understandable. The combination of reality, thought, and memory melds much better on screen than it does on the page - at least it did for me.

Still, I found the story confusing and disjointed, just as I did with the book. And definitely vulgar at points, too. Had I not been planning to write about it, I would not have finished the movie. Of course, the same is true of the book... I guess Ulysses still just isn't for me. 

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