19 June 2009 | jmbellin
Does It Matter If You Put Too Many Plot Points Into a Movie?
This is a movie that is a serious case for a rewrite. Too many plot points, yet jumping around too much made for a movie that just couldn't settle into its mood. Imagine taking the original Godfather novel and putting ALL of it into just one film. Part of what made the Godfather movies so enjoyable was the easy pace that allowed wonderful character development.
The Wyvern Mystery screenwriter couldn't decide between editing out choices and what to leave in, resulting in both too much detail and too many plot points occupying the time, leaving out real character development. At the same time, instead of wise choices for plot points, too few at critical times were left out, resulting in leaving out situational development. For example, at the beginning of the film, you see very young Alice Fairchild and then abruptly, you see the adult Alice. This left out not only her growth, but the growth in relationship between her and her guardian, the Squire. A richer establishment of their relationship would have added texture and resonance to what follows in the film. Yet, this relationship was almost totally missing other than the superficial aspects of it.
The cast performances are fine. The music and some of the shots are over the top, coming from a Masterpiece Theatre feeling to suddenly horror, Friday the 13th style. They might have worked if the film's tensions had been established better, but as over the top (for a BBC film, that is) as those terror sequences are here, they are unsupported by the writing.
Too bad. I really wanted to like this more. This leaves me wanting to read the book. Apparently, Charlotte Bronte, who penned Jane Eyre, was inspired by the author of the novel upon which this movie is based.