01 November 2015 @ 03:57 pm
and then he became a star  
I had not spend enough time here so most of you probably don't know how much I love The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It practically became my comfort reading pick (although I always cry at the end of it). I was so excited to hear that they were making a movie out of it, so during my stay in Indonesia, I dragged my parents to watch the film with me on the first day it was released! Although I only got the mood to talk about it now because I was so upset. It's a really pretty movie with amazing score, to be honest. However... I can say that I'm extremely disappointed with how it turned out to be, especially regarding the plot.


First of all I was so disappointed by the whole writing. I felt that they were trying too hard to mix two storylines (the original The Little Prince story) with the original storyline they wrote. It's nice in a sense that they actually tried to keep the source material as close as possible, but it makes me feel that the film lost its focus. I suspect that audience who never read the book before would get confused, especially near the end. Heck, even I found myself wondering when is this movie going to end?

Spoiler from here onwards (includes meta discussion about Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's life):
I was so upset that they made the old man in the movie to be the representation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. He was pictures as a loony, weird man who's isolated by his neighbors. Now, I would appreciate this sort of quirky character if he were a standalone. But throughout the film we figured that he was the one who wrote the stories of The Little Prince. The actual person was a sophisticated and refined intellect, who gained fame as an Aviator before his writings added more to it.

Because the old man in the film was pictured as a loner, it also took away the symbolic representation of the rose and the fox (in most analysis, the rose was supposed to be modelled after Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's wife, and the fox was after his intimate friend Silvia Hamilton). I felt that these parts of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's life were what added a degree of realism to The Little Prince's characters, regardless of the fantasy setting. That also convinced me that afterall, The Little Prince is not just a book for children (there's nothing wrong with children's books when it really is one, though) but a book meant for adults to regain the precious qualities they once had as children. So when they took all of those away, I felt that they had made the story shallower and simpler than how philosophical it should have been.

Plus, the climax? When the Little Prince turned into an adult? I got that they are trying to show and hammer the whole "it's okay to grow up, but remember who you were" theme using that scene, but to me it was not well delivered. Because in the source material, the fact that the Prince "disappeared" (implied to have died)... and then suddenly we have a grown up Prince in this movie.

Spoiler ends here.

I tried so hard to find things I love from this movie, and I did really love the visual style and the amazing score (I bought the soundtrack regardless). I wanted to like it, to be honest, but I found it really hard when the qualities I adore from the source material was buried. Have you watched the movie? What do you think about it? I'd like to hear other opinions on this since most blogs and reviews just praised this movie without discussing the source material.

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well-informed doorstop: appa[personal profile] muladhara on November 6th, 2015 02:44 pm (UTC)
I didn't know they had made a film of The Little Prince, and I'm not hugely familiar with the book (I have read it, but a long time ago). But those changes sound ridiculous, but typical of Hollywood - it seems to me a lot like they did with Frozen. It's supposedly "based on" The Snow Queen, which is one of my favourite fairytales - so I understand completely how you feel.

I mean they could've just legit made an animation of the actual story, which is what I'd expect going in but chose not to because??? *shrugs*

I'm sorry it was disappointing for you.
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Joaru[personal profile] radiuju on November 7th, 2015 05:41 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think it's not very widely marketed either...
I agree with you. I suppose because it's an adaptation, they kind of have a leeway with how they choose to convey the story? And I think one of the excuses is to make the story more relevant to the current day and age, but I also felt that these stories are classics for a reason? That they are timeless? So why try to fix something that's not broken... right?

By the way, I totally feel you regarding Frozen! It seems like a pattern in the recent movies too... Pretty and nicely packaged, but empty...?
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well-informed doorstop[personal profile] muladhara on November 7th, 2015 06:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah, they do have leeway, but not so much as to make it something completely different from the actual thing.

why try to fix something that's not broken... right?

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helvetica[personal profile] helvetica on November 6th, 2015 05:18 pm (UTC)
Wow I read the Little Prince for the first time yesterday! What an odd coincidence. I loved it! I have not seen the movie but I'm sorry it wasn't what you wanted :( I will watch it and let you know what I think!
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Joaru: peace and love[personal profile] radiuju on November 7th, 2015 05:38 pm (UTC)
Wow! How coincidental! I'm glad you loved it! <3 It's a really beautiful book...
Ah, yes! Looking forward to hearing what you think of it!
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