Friday, March 28, 2008
I just finished figuring out why some people had such a hard time enjoying Atonement, the movie, because nothing is as it seems and may not end the way love stories and movies should. Alternately, I think novels have more freedom for enjoyment once the reader decides that they are reading it because of the emotional attachment to the words and characters and not purely from an entertainment perspective. Granted I do frequently choose books that are, for lack of a better term, chick books. The difference is that when I start out reading one of those I expect lighthearted, happy endings. When I began reading Atonement, I did not read it for its entertainment value and expectations, but instead took in the epic love story and detailed descriptions of characters and beautiful scenery. In a sense Atonement is a book within a book and for that, the beginning can seem confusing and muddled, but once I worked through that I discovered once of my most favorite stories. I would recommend reading this book before seeing the movie, to dispel your assumptions and hopes and leave you watching the movie for the same reasons you would read the book: pure artistic appreciation. Not all stories need a happy ending or need to follow the map laid out for two star-crossed lovers, so remember this as you delve into a book rich with faith and love woven throughout a time of war that just might offer you another look at story writing.