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Rory Book Discussions > Secret Life of Bees--Compare/contrast book with movie

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message 1: by Robbie (new)

Robbie Bashore | 592 comments Since the official January movie is going to be a different one, and the SL of B movie is pretty current, I thought we could have this discussion here if anyone would like to.

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Ok, I just checked.. I won't be able to watch the movie and discuss it with you as it will only be released in Germany in April! : (

message 3: by Alison, the guru of grace (new)

Alison | 1282 comments Mod
I considered suggesting the movie adaptation for January's selection, but it's stopped showing in theaters here, and I'm guessing it won't be released on dvd in January (?) This is a great place to discuss.

message 4: by Dini, the master of meaning (new)

Dini | 691 comments Mod
No news yet on when the movie's going to be released in Indonesia... but I'd love to watch and discuss with you all when it does.

message 5: by Dini, the master of meaning (new)

Dini | 691 comments Mod
I just got the DVD from a friend, will post my comments here when I've watched it.

message 6: by Laura (new)

Laura (literary__laura) | 13 comments Just saw the movie a couple weeks ago. It was pretty good, the book was, of course, better. The best part of the movie for me was the casting, especially Dakota Fanning as Lily and Sophie Okonedo was fanTASTic as May.

I did comment to my friends who watched it with me, though -- if I hadn't read the book, I don't think I would have liked the movie much. It moved a bit too slowly.

message 7: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 283 comments I just watched the movie and thought it was well done and very faithful to the book. I did wonder if I would have liked it if I hadn't read the book, but my husband, who didn't read the book, liked it. I really liked Jennifer Hudson as Rosaleen (sp?). She brought a youthful quality to the character, making her seem at times like Lily's older sister. I loved the fight when they slept overnight in the woods. It was so natural and so touching.

message 8: by Dini, the master of meaning (new)

Dini | 691 comments Mod
I finally got to see the movie. It was good and did justice to the book. A bit slow but a lot of drama films do that. The cast was perfect for me although at first I thought Jennifer Hudson was too young to be Rosaleen. And I think they softened T. Ray a bit compared to the book.

message 9: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (last edited Apr 18, 2009 03:40AM) (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod

Oh gosh! I finally watched this tonight (a lot of time on my hands what with having surgery today). I'm afraid I have to disagree with you all. While it was there was beauty to this movie, it did nowhere near justice to the book in my opinion. I was annoyed at the depth they left out that could have been easily left in and only lengthened the movie slightly.

Like the day before the burial being a time for the Sunday group to laugh and love and reminisce about May. Or the mourning time that followed. Or the impact August's reading had on Lily's writing. Probably most of all the ceremony involving Mary (removing of the chains) that brought them out of mourning and the anger and the pain through the honey... through love. Or the correlation between their lives and the different cycles of honey making for the bees and the humans (they tried a bit with this one). Or how those Sunday women weren't rushing in, strong and defiant and filled with real love, during that final scene with T-Ray to be that many more of Lily's mothers.

Also, I was really annoyed with how they altered what they did use - like how they made what happened to Zack largely Lily's fault and their own doing when really they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. They made Zack seem so naive to the reality of the climate of his community - when he was very aware in the book. Or like how they had May say in her note that she "knew" that Zack was going to be okay, but did it anyway. And also how supposedly August and June knew just what May had found out (about Zack) BEFORE she went out to her wall. What?? That doesn't float.

And YES, they did soften T-Ray and all he did. In shortening the first bit, they left out how Lily experienced jail and therefore the thing with Zack had no bonding effect for them - besides they didn't even have him go to jail either. In other words, it felt white washed - in every sense of those words.

Also, Rosaleen was an entirely different character. She was loud and opinionated and defiant and even a bit gruff in the book - a bit of a stereotype I suppose for a poor, uneducated, Southern black woman of that era. So while Jennifer Hudson made a nice character, I suppose it's good they changed her name to July because she sure wasn't EVER the Rosaleen of the book.

I know this was a pretty serious vent... but I wanted to explain that while I believe the movie had a beauty all it's own, it was really not a good representation of the book to me at all. Okay, yes, I still cried the first time May went out to her wall - because I felt like I knew May. And I think Sophie Okonedo was incredible in that role, by the way. But I didn't connect as much with her after that as I thought I would; as I did (so much) in the book. My mum thought that May was in love with Zack, that's why she was so upset... so obviously they didn't do such a good job there either.

Speaking of my mum - poor thing! Having to watch it with me and my outburst... then my grunting and growling as I held back said outburst!! I'd kill her if she did that to me! How mean was I??

Hope I didn't offend anyone... And honestly, I'm so glad you all could love it as it is. I guess I'm the one that looses out in the end.

message 10: by Angie (new)

Angie | 512 comments I have been waiting for this movie to get here from the library. Hopefully not much longer!

message 11: by Angie (new)

Angie | 512 comments I really like whichway's review. I agree about the part where Zach's arrest was changed. Didn't like that at all. Had I not read the book I probably would've enjoyed the movie more. I loved the actresses. Though I would've never pictured Jennifer Hudson as Rosealeen.

message 12: by Julie (new)

Julie (scrapsofhistory) I read the book one week and watched the movie the next. I have to agree that there wasn't much depth in the movie as there was in the book, but isn't that the case with most book/movie.
One thing I cannot convey to a nonreader (my husband) is that in a book you get so much more than what you do in a movie. You get to put face and voice to the characters and not rely on someone else to determine what your imagination will be like for that movie. I really could just spend almost every evening reading a new book. Kind of hard to do, but someday I will. Or at least an hour or two.

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