From Book To Movie: Treasure Island (TV Movie)
As regular blog readers will know, I enjoy watching and discussing movies based on books and thought it would be a good idea to have an occasional feature where I talk about adaptations currently in the theaters.
Title: Treasure Island (2012)
Adapted From: Treasure Island by Robert Lewis Stevenson
This was TV movie that was released last year that I watched on Netflix last week. It is fairly faithful to the original in terms of plot, however they extended some of the story by featuring more of the mother and Long John’s wife, adding some sequences showing Flint robbing his crew of their share of the treasure and slightly changing the ending.
Young Jim Hawkins is the only one who can successfully get a schooner to a legendary Island known for buried Treasure. But aboard the ship is a mysterious cook named John Silver, whose true motivation on the journey challenges Jim’s trust in the entire crew.
Things I liked:
- The cinematography was good and very stark, with lots of close ups. It really shows off the gorgeous setting well!
- I thought Eddie Izzard as Long John Silver was excellent. I had only ever seen bits of his stand up routines and really didn’t know he could act!
- I thought they cast Jim Hawkins very well, though they cast him as a teenager rather than 13 years old as he is in the book.
- I thought the story was well paced and exciting, with some exciting action sequences.
- I liked that they depicted Squire Trelawney in a more negative light than other adaptations and showed just how greedy he really was.
- The pirates felt like real pirates, they were unkempt, tattooed and spoke in accents that I would imagine them having.
- Elijah Wood was fun as the crazy islander Benn Gunn.
- Philip Glenister was excellent as Captain Smollet.
I liked the all the moments between Jim Hawkins and Long John Silver, they were very well done and well acted.
Things I disliked:
- I think perhaps they depict Long John Silver more positively than he deserves, he is still a ruthless cutthroat in this story but in the attempt to make him a more well rounded character he almost becomes more likable than the hero!
- The cinematography is pretty but I disliked the quick cuts and camera shaking during action sequences.
- I didn’t think the addition of extra sequences with the mother really did much for the story and I think it slowed the story down towards the end.
This is a really different adaptation of this story, much darker and grittier. Some characters are depicted much more positively and other characters much more negatively. I personally liked that about the story and felt it really brought the story to life for me. Those expecting a light-hearted adventure may be disappointed but I really liked it as an exciting pirate story and character study.