Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl

The Other Boleyn Girl is first a novel written by Philippa Gregory, one of my favorites. It has been made into a movie set for release in February. So this weekend, I re-read the book as a refresher. (trailer at link)

And I have a few concerns.

First, the books greatest triumph is how we travel with a 14 year old girl through her childhood to her thirties, and by the end you've grown with her. It's really remarkable. The beginning she is a believable niave teen, and in the end she's a 30ish mother of 4 and the transistions are smooth as cream. I don't see how that's going to be possible in the movie.

My great fear, is that they are going to take out the driving force behind most of the story (at least Gregory's story - which may not be factually accurate) are Mary's two children, Catherine and Henry. Most everything she does is driven by a desire to see them. Her Uncle and Anne bribe her with visits to them, it's part of the reason she betray's Queen Katherine.

If in the movie she does not have two illegitimate children by the King ... well that's a great big chunk of the story that's left out. Why do I think it's missing? Because in the trailer, they show Mary in the tower with Anne. It was always Catherine (Mary's daughter) in the tower, Mary was with her husband in London. And Mary did not testify or plead her sister's case. She fled the palace and hid from the council because she was afraid she would be tried for incest and witch craft like her sister and brother were.

So I'm thinking the kids didn't make the cut for the movie. Though the last line that Charlotte Johanson says in the trailer ... "she is my sister and one half of me," that's in the novel, verbatim. But it's a thought immediately after Henry has Anne killed.

I didn't remember the constant enmity between Anne and Mary, but in reading it again, they never got along. They were constantly jealous and baiting each other, so those parts of the movie seem more accurate.
At any rate ... I just really enjoyed the novel again, I could not put it down. In reading it, and thinking there is absolutely no way you can turn 700 really detailed pages into a 2 hour movie, I'm thinking the affair with Mary is going to be limited, with more focus on how he and Anne end up together and married. I'm interested to see how it all comes together.
Just wanted to share.