Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Heresy (of the Literary Kind)

It was announced in March that Jennifer Garner will be in a Disney movie, playing Agatha Christie's Miss Marple.

Yeah.....let that sink in a moment.....

First -Yes, Jennifer Garner is gorgeous.

Second - Disney has a tendency to practice eminent domain on story-lines. "We want it, we'll take it, and then we will do what we want with it."

I think they may produce a good movie - a good mystery. A mystery movie where the main character is a kind of prim amateur detective. Who happens to be named Miss Marple.

That does not make it a Miss Marple movie,

The heads of Disney screwed it up again. No matter how good of a movie this is, in an objective way, it is an insult to Agatha Christie and to Miss Marple, and to seniors everywhere.

The whole point of Miss Marple is that she was an elderly lady - an innocent-looking, fluffy, harmless "old puss" who managed to catch murderers with her wisdom and her "fine sense of evil."  She was elderly enough, and with enough infirmity, to not be allowed to work in her garden. Yet, she could track down cold-blooded killers with a ruthlessness that was shocking.

"If anybody had been there to observe the gentle-looking elderly lady who stood meditatively on the loggia outside her bungalow, they would have thought she had nothing more on her mind than deliberations on how to her arrange her time that day..." (From A Caribbean Mystery)

Miss Marple was not afraid to call evil, "evil". She was described as "fluffy", "harmless", "scattered", "unimportant", "far too old to take care of herself", and "old". So part of her charm lies in her age, in her state of life.

To have her "updated" to a much younger woman is to lose who Miss Marple it. And sadly, many people who go to see this movie will not have ever read one of Christie's wonderful Miss Marple books. Nor will they read them after viewing the movie.


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