”All Summer in a Day”
Translating a fictional text into a film is an art in its own. It’s a whole process, seeing the creation of one art into another one. The goal is to recreate the same feelings and emotions of the story into something visually appealing. The director tries to conserve the main scenes that will still deliver the message that the text was trying to give. Elements like linguistics, costumes, props, settings, lighting, sound, editing, camera work and casting are really important to consider as it can affect the movie. It’s not that simple. With limitations like money and time, it is not uncommon to see a change between the story and the film. In my essay today, I will be talking about not effective the film adaptation is, focusing on language elements, physical elements and casting,
Language elements is a key part in a movie. It’s the script, the words said in the story. There would be direct phrases from the story that you’d hear in the film or some lines that won’t appear at all. It’s just a way to personalize the movie to the director’s liking. But if the director completely altered the story’s dialogue and deleted some scenes, the film becomes a director’s own creation with hints of plagiarism and not a film adaptation. Also cutting/adding things can destroy the feelings resented by the viewer. A movie is always more enjoyable if it makes you feel some type of way. This is because if you didn’t show any emotion or feeling towards a movie, it’s automatically categorized as boring. Also, we as humans like to relate with people so if we can feel the same joy, or guilt, or sadness as the characters in the film, it makes it more pleasurable. If deletion of scenes is the case, it’s important to put in scenes that’ll keep the same feeling/emotion.
The adaptation of ”All Summer in a Day” is not effective like that. The director deleted parts of the story and replaced them with more simplistic concepts. While it’s a good way to conserve time and money, it totally ruined the ambiance of the story. It makes the movie deliver the message in a generic way where as in the story, you felt something and there was more emotion. In the story, when the kids were running around and enjoying the sun after locking Margot in the closet, a girl runs to them with a raindrop cupped in her hand. They stopped playing around and their smiles washed off their faces as a girl showed them the raindrop she had caught. This moment is vital in the story because it signifies that the rain is starting to fall and reminds them that the sun is temporary. When the rain starts to fall, they aren’t happy anymore and they realize what they have done to Margot. In the movie, the kids have the time of their lives then the rain comes out then they run back inside. It’s then that they realize what they had done to Margot. To me, if they were to keep the scene were the little girl shows her raindrop, it’ll connect to the reader more because it delivers the message of the story in a way that’ll touch the reader emotionally. In the movie, you don’t feel the same way because the film writers didn’t put in a scene to get into the viewers feelings, they instead jumped from one point to another, making the film seem so rushed, as if their goal was to finish the film not make us feel the same way as the characters in the film.
Another point that I want to talk about is the addition of some lines or scenes. It never hurts to add things in the film to maybe personalize the movie a little more to the director’s liking. But sometimes, they add things that make the storyline seem off or different. Something I’ll make reference to more than once is the sun kits that they give the children and teach them about. It is an addition to the film that kind of defeats the film’s plot. The main reason why the kids were bullying and isolating Margot is because one, she’s seen the sun while they have little to no memory of it and on that particular day, the sun was supposed to come out but the kids didn’t believe her, thinking that she was nothing but a know-it-all. So it’s a little odd when in the movie, they’re preparing them for the sun’s arrival because aren’t they supposed to be doubtful of the sun showing up? That is one of two reasons why they made Margot feel so bad. In the movie, they made sure that the kids disliked Margot because she knew more about the sun then them. But I think that if they were to make the other children uncertain about the sun showing up, that’ll make them have an extra reason to bully Margot which will make it easier to sympathize with her.
It’s important for the viewer understand what is going on in the film and it isn’t only about what the characters are saying. What differs a movie from an audiobook is the visuals. This includes lighting, camera work, editing, settings, props and costumes. In this section, I’ll focus on the physical elements of this film adaptation.
One thing I’ve already mentioned beforehand are the sun kits. The teaching of the sun kits might seem like a scene they just decided to add to the movie but to me, it changes a lot. A main reason why the students were so mean to Margot is because she believe that the sun was going to come out that day but they didn’t. The sun kits prove that the students and the teacher know and believe that the sun was going to come out whereas in the story, the kids and even the teacher were doubtful that the sun was going to come out. I think this scene addition just kills that sympathy and understanding you have for Margot because she isn’t being bullied for delivering an opinion. You’d feel bad for her more in that case because everyone is allowed to share an opinion and they are excluding her for doing that. They now believe, in the movie, that the sun was going to come out, which technically that gives them something to agree with Margot on, and to me, that makes me feel less bad about Margot.
The sun coming out to the people of Venus is unarguably the most important part of the whole storyline. With all the imagery the author of ”All Summer in a Day” gives us, it’s easy to imagine radiant, bright sun rays bouncing off the glowing smiles of the children. Orange-y, yellow toned radiation lights up the once dark and dead landscape surrounding the children of Venus. Whatever it is, you’d imagine that the filmmakers would capture the something that’ll reflect the excitement felt by the people. But I was actually so disappointed. This scene is the scene that the story revolved around and it’s the part that prior to the kids realizing how cruel they were to Margot. It wasn’t nice and it takes you a couple of seconds to really know that it was the sun. You only knew it was coming out because, of the slight change of colors in the sky. And watching that scene, you didn’t feel anything because of how bad it was visually. It affects the story because a scene so important like this one should be able to recognized and you shouldn’t have to guess if it was the sun that was coming out.
Choosing the right actors for each part is important as they need to be able to portray the emotions that the character is supposed to in a genuine way. You can’t cast anyone to any role because they need to have that chemistry. It’s never fun watching a movie with bad actors, whether it’s that they don’t fit the role or that they just don’t know how to act. Especially if it’s a film adaptation because there is a certain way the characters are supposed to be, either by appearance, age or qualities and defects.
”They hated her pale snow face, her waiting silence.” A line that accurately describes the Margot in the story. A quiet girl who is bullied by her peers because of her extended knowledge of the sun. I for sure understand her as a shy person and a victim of bullying. People bully the quieter ones because they have the impression that they can’t stand up for themselves. So I felt bad for Margot. But the representation of her in the movie is totally different. The Margot in the movie is more outspoken and she stands up for herself. ”William, why don’t you like me?” The Margot in the story would’ve never said that. Now there is nothing wrong with standing up for yourself but it doesn’t represent the Margot from the story. I just don’t understand why they didn’t keep her quiet persona. It makes it hard to empathize with her now, because to me, it’s easier to feel remorse for a lonelier, quieter person as they are more prone to intimidation but someone who isn’t afraid to stand up for themselves, you think that they are able to handle their problems themselves.
Something that also bothered me is how in the movie, they made it that William was more of a lone bully but in the story, it’s the whole class that actively annoyed Margot. In my opinion, if someone is bullied by a number of people, they are automatically weaker. Two heads are better than one. The fact that it was everyone that jumped and isolated Margot means that you felt bad for her, like you just want to go and stand in solidarity next to her. But in the movie, it’s only William that is actually bringing pain to her life. If it’s only one person, it’s easier to fight them off, especially someone as candid as Margot in this film. She quite frankly only cared for the sun coming out and wasn’t as quiet, meaning she wasn’t afraid to call him out. So right there, there’s that whole sympathy that I felt for Margot that has been striped away simply because she’s bullied by one person.
A little thing can change a lot. The film adaptation of the short story ”All Summer in a Day’ could’ve been better in my opinion. Everything was just so different from the story and so many things disrupted the feelings I had while reading the story such as sympathy. The setting and background wasn’t nice at all, the deletion of scenes were poorly chosen, addition of props made you think about the accuracy between the story and the film. I don’t really empathize with Margot from the movie because she wasn’t treated as bad or as meanly as Margot from the story. The way she reacted to William bullying is completely different from the way Margot from the story did. First of all, she was ganged up and bullied by the whole class and not only one guy. I think it makes you feel more for that person as they are for sure alone. In the story, she let herself get pushed around but in the movie, she was stronger and especially more outspoken when the students questioned her knowledge on the sun. Not that that’s a bad thing but in his case, it’s easier to feel bad for someone who is constantly bullied when she’s so quiet and just wants to see the thing she loves with all her heart than someone who can actually stand up for herself.
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