Flick or Flip: Atonement
By Allie Reczek
Welcome to Falvey’s Flick or Flip? My name is Allie Reczek, and I am a sophomore undergrad and student worker in the Library. For this blog, I will pick a book that has been turned into a movie, and argue which I thought was better.
Welcome back to Falvey Flips or Flicks!
This week, I will be discussing Atonement, by Ian McEwan, published in 2001. This novel first takes place in 1935 England, later fast-forwarding to 1940 during World War II, and then decades later for the epilogue.
This book tells the story of Briony Tallis, a 13-year-old girl, her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the family gardener and Cecilia’s secret lover. With a misunderstanding that spirals out of control, Briony becomes the instigator for a lie that results in the imprisonment of Robbie. This puts an end to his relationship with Cecilia, resulting in a deep hatred that leaves Cecilia in such anguish that she refuses to speak to Briony ever again, unable to forgive her for her false accusations.
For the entirety of the novel, readers follow Briony’s life as she grows up, where she realizes the mistake she made in her adolescence and sets out to make matters right. Later on, we find out that Briony “wrote” this book as a way to atone for her faults, yet it is not published until it is too late and nothing can be fixed.
The movie adaptation, directed by Joe Wright and released in 2007, parallels the novel with some minor changes.
After reading the book and watching the movie, I feel that the movie best told this romance/war story. The novel I found to be rather dry, delving too far into unnecessary details, such as the position of the grass in the garden and the design on a vase. It took a large part of the book to truly get into the plot and reach the climax, whereas the movie keeps viewers engaged and wanting more.
Additionally, I feel that with a war story such as this one, it is more meaningful and impactful to see the characters and their struggles as opposed to reading it, which can leave significant moments open to interpretation.
However, whether you have just a few hours or a couple of days to spare, Atonement tells an unforgettable story that teaches us the hard truth that sometimes it is too late to apologize for our actions.
SO… FLICK OR FLIP?
Hi! My name is Allie Reczek, and I am a sophomore Psychology Major. I work as a Marketing and Communication Assistant in Falvey. Hope you enjoy this blog! Which flips or flicks should I debate in the future? Message @villanovalibrary on Instagram or tweet us @FalveyLibrary!
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