I can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that the Artemis Fowl book series, written by Eoin Colfer, is 20 years old. Frankly, it just doesn’t seem possible. And yet…
The books, aimed at a Young Adult audience, brought together mythical creatures and Humans in a way that we hadn’t really seen before. Not, at least, in the same way. Artemis is not your typical youngster. And that is the ultimate understatement.
If you are interested check out Eoin Colfer’s website: https://www.eoincolfer.com/artemis-fowl
I haven’t yet caught up with the later additions to the family saga; the Fowl Twins books, but I’ll be sure to add them to my list.
From Book to Film
I’d like to say I learned a valuable lesson with the Harry Potter books and films. That is, do not – Repeat: DO NOT – expect the film to be as detailed or intricate as the books.
I’m thinking it was around film 5 that the lesson might finally have become ingrained. But I could be in error there.
Lovers of books that are made into movies or TV shows run the not uncommon risk (?) of being disappointed. Why? Simple. Time. There simply is not enough time to take the book word by word and move it into a film medium.
It might sound simple and easy but the end result just can’t justify any part of that exercise. The time and cost to actually produce the filmed product would exceed every expectation and the end result would be a disaster. The first book in the Fowl series is not that long and the resulting film, with the necessary edits, etc., still resulted in a film under two hours. Most audiences won’t want to sit through a longer film
So, do not expect the book to be the film. In fact, one thing that helped me with the Potter films was to not read the book close to the time I watched the film. I gave my brain time to ‘forget’ things so when I watched the film, it was fresh and relatively new.
First, can I just say how amazing Judi Dench is? I never, ever sit down to watch her work and am not amazed at the end result.
Second, the casting of this film is amazing. I really, really, enjoyed each and every character – the performers brought so much to the table with their efforts.
Third, Kenneth Branagh has shown a level of skill, of deftness of touch, with this film. He kept the target audience (kids) in mind every second of the way, so the audience wasn’t overloaded with graphic monsters, dark and dank settings.
In short, he wasn’t playing to adults with the standard blow things up, excess violence, not to mention graphic gore with the plot secondary to all the special effects. From some of the reviews I’ve read, this seems to have confused folks a lot. <shrug>
Granted, he could have treated us to every second of Artemis searching for the language to unlock the query to find the … … … you get the idea. The film would have gone from under two hours to over three for that alone.
The film actually gives us every piece of information we need to understand what is happening in the story. Yes, a little more information about how certain things do, or don’t, work might have been helpful, Especially if the viewer isn’t a student of myth lore.
Overall, I liked the end result. It was just the right balance of material. It has a beautiful design and the soundtrack is delicious.
Since I am one who might end up nodding off or foraging when a film loses my attention, this was a pleasant change. No pauses. No napping. No foraging.
I recommend both the books and the film. I encourage you to remember to leave some space/time between the books and the film, but both are worth your time and attention. Don’t embark with any preconceived ideas, however. Let the story unfold as written.