Bier de Stone ( wrote,
Bier de Stone

deconstructing novel to screen plot

I picked up the book for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carré because I've watched the film so many times, I'm curious how much better the novel is going to be if I manage to read it. So far, I'm just shocked at the way the story begins compared to the movie. In the story, it seems like the main character is not George Smiley, but Jim Prideaux, AND the scene where he appears to be teaching at a school for k-12 children, in act two, is the way the story begins. The owl in the chimney, the rainy day when he arrives at the school hauling a trailer, Bill Roach, the new boy who takes intrest in Jim. All this is covered in the first 14 pages of the book, and the screenplay doesn't do it justice as Jim Prideaux almost appears to become the heroic fascination of a friendless new boy in a strange school who may or may not have invented the entire plot in his head.

We'll see, however, as I am hooked. For instance, in act one of the movie, there is a scene where Jim meets his contact in Budapest. They drink espressos at a café. The subject of goulash is mentioned, but the movie never connects that with the nicknames the children from the school where Jim is teaching were bouncing back and forth until they settle on Rhino for their new substitute teacher. For that matter, the movie doesn't acknowledge the nickname Jim comes up with for Bill, "Jumbo".
Tags: book is always better

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