Analyse the transpostion of one literary text to film, discussing which features of the literary text are cut in the process and which features are focus upon/expanded. I have chosen to analyse chapter One of The English Patient entitled The Villa

Essay by NitsyUniversity, Bachelor'sC, March 2003

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I have chosen to analyse chapter One of The English Patient entitled The Villa. I have chosen to discuss only aspects of the chapter that have been transposed into the film and look at the mise-en-shot involved and the use of sound as narrative within that.

The novel is written by Michael Ondaatje, published in 1992 and winner of the 1992 Booker Prize. The genre of the film text is a romance/drama and the writer of the screenplay and director is Anthony Minghella (1996), the film scooped a handful of the prestigious Academy Awards. The runtime of the movie is 160 minutes and is a UK certificate 15. The locales of The English Patient is set in Italy and Tunisia.

The literary text is told in a third person, reliable narrative throughout and in the film text, being a classical Hollywood movie, it adopts the objective camera, whereby the camera acts as an inert recorder of what happens in front of it.

This was the most employed narrative perspective, personal-perspective shots were infrequent but there were a few high-angles and two-shots included also. Orchestral music is used in the background and worked in harmony with the actions of the actors.

Sri Lankan born Ondaatje moved to Canada in 1962 where he now works in York University. He is the author of three collections of poems and four novels. The English Patient was a great choice for film adaptation because of the haunted love story centred around an event of searing drama set in exotic locales and the cinematic vividness. Above all, it is a supremely verbal construction, 'almost a poem disguised as a novel'. Ondaatje's beautiful use of language is most prominent in the novel. He trusted and loved Minghella's directorial instincts;

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