The Lord of the Flies: Movie Critique
Produced in 1990, the screen adaptation of William Golding's Lord of the Flies fails to capture the effectiveness of the 1954 novel. Set in a remote Pacific island, the novel follows the events that occur amongst a group of stranded British schoolboys. The novel accurately portrays the daily challenges faced in modern society in the form of an almost childlike adventure story. The novel will remain a treasure of modern literature while the film shows nothing more than the sloppy work of an amateur. The three critical mistakes that screen writer Schiff and director Hook made were the mischaracterization of Ralph, lack of portrayal accuracy and the lack of Simon's importance in the script.
As one of the main protagonists in the novel, Ralph represents the structures of society and the strength of human goodness. Up until the final scene of the novel, Ralph has never shown any obvious weakness.
When Ralph realizes he was going to be rescued, "the tears began to flow and the sobs shook him. He gave himself up to them now for the first time on the island: great, shuddering spasms of grief that seemed to wrench his whole body"(202). After Ralph's breakdown, the rest of the boys on the beach enter into their own realizations of the savagery that has occurred on the island and begin to cry as well. In the novel this scene signifies the destruction of the last hope for structure within society.
While this poignant scene in the novel returns in the movie, the overall effect is significantly less. Ralph sits pathetically weeping on the beach while the rest of the boys look on. In addition to Ralph's solo tear shedding, the movie portrays an earlier incident of his crying. Ralph's...