Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Gulliver's Travels, Will Always Be A Story without Plot

I don't understand why people continue to adapt Gulliver's Travels into film, as we see in this year's holiday bust staring Jack Black.

I remember in college reading Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift and being deathly bored.

I do not deny it's "classic" status and find some of Swift's uses of narrative to present ideas quite interesting on a rhetorical level, but on an entertainment level beyond the fact that there's giants and little people this story is quiet bland and is far more about political ideology than anything else.

And yet, we continue to see this book adapted into film versions again and again. I remember watching the 1996 miniseries with some modest enjoyment (Ted Danson as Gulliver), but even still this story has no plot.

I don't blame Swift for writing with out a plot, because in the 1700's plot was not a prized literary devise as it is today, and again, plot was not Swift's objective.

Yet in the twenty-first century film seems to hinge on special effects and plot. Gulliver's Travels does offer some opportunity to for effects and trickery, but when it comes to plot it has none and so does not make for a modern film. Period.

So, why Rob Letterman would be put to task to direct this film, I have no idea. Nor do I have an idea why it would be positioned as a "holiday blockbuster." Gulliver's Travels can never be told in an intriguing enough way to satisfy modern audiences.

1 comment:

James D. said...

Jack Black and classic literature should never be combined.

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