Derik Badman's Journal

2020-01-06 11:43

We went and saw Greta Gerwig's Little Women yesterday at the theater. I've never read the book so I can't speak to it as an adaptation, but I do believe it deserves all the acclaim it's been getting. It was beautifully filmed, the script seemed interestingly done - at least as far as I know she messed around with the timeline rather than making it linear, and all the actresses were pretty amazing. In shifting between different times Gerwig was super effective at matches on action and match cuts so that you could tell time had changed even if you were seeing the same location or people. There are probably no cases where the switch in time was confusing or disorienting, at least as far as knowing that the time had changed not necessarily whether it was previous or later than the last scene.

One really effective use of the multiple timelines was when Meg the youngest sister is sick and dying. It happens twice. In the earlier time, she does recover. We see Jo fall asleep next to her in bed and when Jo wakes up, Meg is no longer in the bed. It is empty. Jo trepidatiously goes down the stairs and turns the corner to the kitchen, and then you know Meg has survived that time because we see her at the table eating breakfast. Jo is joyous. Later, we see the same scene replay almost identically. Jo wakes up; Meg's bed is empty; Jo walks down the stairs; she turns looks into the dining room; but this time, it's just her mother alone crying. That repetition and call back was really effective and moving.

Through episode 3 of The Witcher and I keep being impressed with it. The writers are doing a so far excellent job in adapting and modifying the original source material into something that tracks Geralt, Yennifer, and Ciri simultanously, but also cleverly mixes the timelines and what stories they are showing to resonate with each other.

It's getting compared with Game of Thrones a lot, but so far I think The Witcher is much more of a fantasy show, and a much more interesting show. GoT was so much about tons of characters being moved along by a slowly (so slowly) moving plot. It took forever to learn about the different characters and the world and it was much more about political maneuvering than a fantasy world. The Witcher on the other hand, by focusing on a few main characters let's one learn about them faster. It also is already much more fantastical in nature, which is likely, a reason it won't ever be as popular as GoT.