19 February 2006 | saerin
If I had seen this film before reading the book first, I still would not have liked it very much. However, as I had read the book, I cannot write this review without comparing the two.
Compared to the book, this film was horrible. Not merely because the pace was slow, or because of the pointless changes they made to the plot in places.
No, what ruined it for me was the choice of actors. There is not a one, I think, who completely fit their character, but more so for the main characters. Take Kristin, for example; in the book, she is, at the oldest, about 18. And yet the actress looked 28. Kristin is described as being incredibly beautiful; and yet, the actress was, if not directly ugly, certainly not pretty or attractive in any way. Kristin is supposed to be sweet, innocent and mild of manner--in every way the epitome of the the gentle young virgin. And yet I saw few such characteristics in the way the actress portrayed her.
And Erlend. Erlend was supposed to be handsome, dashing, sweeping her off her feet. The very Romeo to her Juliet. The actor looked retarded half of the time, his mouth hanging open; the other half was nothing special.
And then there are the pointless changes in the other characters. Kristin's bedmate, Ingebjørg (and she was the ONLY bedmate...Helga was very little involved with anything in the book) was supposed to be blonde and very fat. Kristin's father was supposed to be very fair and knightly. Likewise, her almost-fiancé was supposed to be plump and talkative, too. And her sister was supposed to be about 6 years her younger; NOT the same age.
Possibly petty complaints: but actors make the film. Choose actors that cannot play their part, and you have a bad film. It's as simple as that. If you want to adapt a book to the screen, please do so as accurately as possible. Truth be told, I couldn't make myself watch the last half an hour of the film, it was annoying me so much. In the book, in liked Kristin; I had sympathy for her cause. In the film, I did not, at all.