Book to Movie Monday (1)
This week I will be hosting my very first Book to Movie Monday. I had a hard time deciding which would be my first. Finally though I decided on one of my favorite (though not completely perfect) Books to Movie adaptations The Count of Monte Cristo. I can't actually remember when I read this book. I know I was in my young teens though. I have however watched the movie a considerable number of times. I particularly love the 2002 version. (IMDB The Count of Monte Cristo)
Now for a little backstory in case some of you aren't familiar with the Novel. Alexander Dumas wrote and published the Novel sometime around 1844. The Count of Monte Cristo is considered among one of his greatest books. It was originally published in French (Le Comte de Monte-Cristo) and wasn't translated to English until 1846. The Novel takes place following the years of Napoleon's Empire and it spans 29 years. The book is first and foremost an Adventure Novel. It covers the themes of Love,Vengeance,Justice.
Now onto the Characters. Their are way to many to list them all so I'm going to focus on the main players.
Edmond Dantes- A young successful Merchant Sailor with a bright future in front of him. That is until he is framed for a crime he didn't commit and spends 13 years in prison (Château d'If)plotting his revenge. While in prison he meets the Abbe Faria (Mad Priest) who has spent many years trying to tunnel his way out of the prison. He takes Edmond Dantes under his wing and Educates him in many topics and a variety of languages. The Abbe who is close to death discloses the location of an enormous treasure. The location being Monte Cristo island. Still with me? Good. When the Abbe dies Edmond Dantes makes his escape hiding in the Abbes body bag. Eventually he makes it to the island and the treasure. After buying his Title and Monte Cristo Island from the Tuscan Government Edmon Dantes ceases to exist and The Count of Monte Cristo is born.
Other Key Characters
Mercedes- Edmonds Fiance who unbeknownst to her marries one of the men responsible for putting in prison. While Edmond punishes her for this betrayal he also forgives her eventually.
Fernand Mondego- He is in Love with Mercedes and helps hatch the plan to send Edmond to prison. He is the first whom Edmond seeks his vengeance on.
Baron Danglars- A greedy,envious man. He along with Fernand hatch the plot to send Edmond to prison.
Gérard de Villefort- An Ambitious public prosecutor. His actions and greed are what ultimately land Dantes in Château d'If.
Monsieur Morrel- Kind,honest and Dantes one true friend. He was once a wealthy shipowner and spends many years working on the release of Dantes. In financial ruin Edmond as Monte Cristo pays off all his debts and thus pays back all the years of kindness his friend showed to him.
Now onto some of the differences between the book and the movie.
The Book vs. The Movie
In the Book Edmond Dantes wasn't illiterate in the Movie he is.
In the Book it takes several years for him to assume the identity of The Count of Monte Cristo. In the movie this happens fairly quickly.
In the Book Mercedes and Dantes never reconcile. In the movie they are clearly together at the end.
In the Book Albert is not Dantes son in the movie he is.
In the Novel Fernand dies from Suicide in the movie Mondego has sword thrust through his chest.
In the Novel the character Jacopo doesn't play as key a role as he does in the movie. This is certainly one of the biggest differences in the Book to Movie adaptation.
Overall I love Both The Novel and The Movie version (2002 version). If your not the type to love long wordy novels then I suggest at least enriching yourself a bit by watching the film. I highly suggest that you read the book as well. It is truly one of the finest materials ever published. Here is the trailer incase you do want to check it out.