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Going Postal Adaptation

Anyone else see this on Sky1 the other night?

I really enjoyed it! Obviously there can almost never be a perfect adaptation of any book, especially a Discworld one, but I think this one got a lot of things right.

The one thing I kept thinking was needs more Sacharissa! I know she's barely in the book, so it's not the adaptation's fault, but (and perhaps this is because I already love Tamsin Greig anyway) everything got a bit more exciting when she was onscreen. Funny, she's not really how I pictured her, but awesome anyway. I'd love for them to adapt The Truth next so she can be in it more.

Basically now I just really want to reread all the Ankh-Morpork books, which is a problem as I'm already trying to read the Deep Space Nine relaunch, the Temeraire books (highly recommended, btw) and, shockingly, even some stuff that isn't SF&F...


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Jun. 2nd, 2010 09:57 pm (UTC)
Wotcha! Just passing through, as I had to come back to the house for more practical dog-walking shoes, but I have a LOT to say about the Going Postal movie and will say it here when I get back on Sunday :-)

For now, very short comments: it was mostly win. I enjoyed it very much. There were an awful lot of changes from canon; some of them worked well IMO, and some didn't. Tamsin G was excellent and very true to Pratchett's description of Sacharissa; Claire Foy was AWESOME and I want to have her baybeez; Charles Dance was surprisingly good, but FFS couldn't the budget extend to some black hair and beard dye?! - and Coyle did a decent job but I have Issues about him :D

Right, I am outtahere, back soon, kthxbai!
Jun. 3rd, 2010 09:10 am (UTC)
Of Charles Dance, Vetinari and some Beard Dye...
I completely agree!

I can't wait to read the full review :)
Jun. 7th, 2010 08:57 am (UTC)
Re: Of Charles Dance, Vetinari and some Beard Dye...
'k, am back - for some value of back, as I've been working all day and am DEADED - but I'll post at least a partial set of observations and stuff now...
Jun. 3rd, 2010 09:18 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed the adaptation; there were a few things that they missed out which I missed, but I think overall they did really well to get the flavour of Discworld across. I think it was really successful.

I prefer these later stories to the earlier Ankh-Morkpork based ones, and I'm glad they chose to do this one rather than another one based around the wizards.

Tamsin Greig as Sacharissa was awesome! I actually enjoyed the performances from all the female cast members; Claire Foy was just how I imagined Adora Belle Dearheart, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal was great as Angua...the only people I missed seeing were Miss Maccalariat and Gladys the Golem.
Jun. 3rd, 2010 01:24 pm (UTC)
Did you see, though, they mentioned Gladys on a list of golems in the background at the Golem Trust!

That was one of the things I really liked about this, actually. Everything looked gorgeous, and there was such attention to detail.
Jun. 7th, 2010 09:02 am (UTC)
Ingrid Bolsø Berdal was great as Angua

Yes! A rather Lucy Lawless interpretation of Angua IMO. Worked fabulously on screen :-)

the only people I missed seeing were Miss Maccalariat and Gladys the Golem

There were others I missed even far more than that, but I'll get to them in my comment-review-thingies in a minute...
Jun. 7th, 2010 09:28 am (UTC)
Comments. As promised.
It was a long week and today has been a LONG days and I'm probably far too tired to do all my observations/critiques in one go, so I'll start with the pros and leave the cons for later after I've had some sleep...

* Mise en scene : bella, bella bellissima! They really, really got it right this time. The lighting was gorgeous, the attention to detail (as mentioned by Llin) was a delight to see, the costumes looked right for early-Industrial Age Ankh-Morpork, and buildings and interiors looked like they sprang entire out of the pages of the novel, especially the Post Office, the Patrician's Palace, and the Golem Trust.

* Casting: largely perfect. Andrew Sachs was so awesome as Groat that not once did I find myself thinking 'Que, Meester Fawlty?' Ian Bonar is now officially my Stanley - he invested what could have been treated as a slapstick comedic 'throwaway' character with such naive enthusiasm and emotional fragility that I nearly cried! Charles Dance did a very, very decent Vetinari (if only they'd done the dye, as I mentioned above; sorry folks, but Vetinari simply is not greying ginger, sigh). I've already hailed Claire Foy's and Tamsin Grieg's performances, but I'll hail them again, with a special mention to Ingrid Wossername as Angua. Paul Barber (where's he been since The Full Monty BTW?) as Dave the Pinhead was absolutely perfect. So were the Smoking Gnu. And another special mention goes to Boris :D

* Story adaptation: we all knew there was no way the whole story could be told (and done justice to) in a two-parter, and given that Sky and the Mob are (presumably) trying to balance keeping the Discworld fans happy with presenting a followable story to newbies, I think they were right to place the emphasis on Moist and Adora Belle's relationship. Much as I love the novel, I always wished we could have seen more of their not-very-romantic romance, and this version delivered nicely on that front.

* The Clacks: it was REAL. It WORKED. You just knew it did. Steampunkily fantabulous!

More to come, but I need a lie-down and that will do for starters. I suspect you can tell from certain omissions what at least some of my criticisms are going to be :P

Edited at 2010-06-07 09:28 am (UTC)
Jun. 8th, 2010 12:09 am (UTC)
Comments, part 2
Somewhat later than expected, owing to a VERY sudden and absolutely horrible flu-like mystery bug that hit me in the space of minutes, floored me for the night (with fever, horribly swollen glands - ALL of them! - chills, mega-headache, and a sudden sore throat so severe that I couldn't speak or swallow for hours...), and then by five o'clock this morning had burnt itself out WTF...

So this time it's complaints. And my very biggest complaint by far was the absence of the Grand Trunk as a corporate entity! I think this was a terrible decision (and I wonder if this was perhaps the part that Pterry himself was quite unhappy about even though he loved most of it). It had two bad effects: one, we missed out on the whole story of the Grand Trunk being a faceless monster, plotting behind closed boardroom doors to grind small honest businesspeople underfoot and darken and inconvenience the daily lives of all Ankh-Morpork - in other words, a mirror of our own real world' problems with big corporations; and two, Reacher Gilt was reduced to a scenery-chewing, moustache-twirling pantomime villain who even reverted to doing his own murderous dirty work in the latter part of the story. Wrong, wrong, wrong! Much of the original point of the Gilt character was that, unlike Moist - and like evil Roundworld CEOs - he didn't get his own hands dirty. He ruined lives from a safe hiding place, behind a Board of Directors (equally conned by him, for the most part) and a surface appearance of legitimacy. Having him commit several murders and be physically threatening to young 'Princess' (who WAS young in the novel, so what moved them to cast her as an over-21? - it didn't add anything to the story) was so out of (original and superbly drawn) character that it interfered with my enjoyment of the fillum. I don't have much tolerance for moustache-twirling villains anyway (which is why, f'rinstance, I've always preferred the Rani to the Master), so I think it would have been so much better if they'd stuck to the original here :-(

Now then, my casting quibbles:

* Madhav Sharma as Crispin Horsefry: no, no, no. Just did not work for me. Didn't look right, didn't act right.

* David Suchet as Reacher Gilt: Suchet has never impressed me, and IMO he simply didn't deliver the true menace of Gilt's character.

* Richard Coyle as Moist: I still don't know what to make of Richard Coyle, having seen him as Moist one night and as Tus (the king's elder son in Prince of Persia) the next. Mostly what I make of him is that he has a face and style suited to modern relationships-gone-wrong dramedy, and he doesn't come across believably in costume drama/fantasy roles. That said, he did give the part of Moist a good whack, so I can't completely write him off as I do the other two.

All in all, though, I think it was an excellent production, a reasonable compromise (pandering to the fans versus playing to a wider audience), and I hope it made the PTB happy because it would be good to have lots and lots of Discworld on screen!
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