Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Review - To Kill a Mockingbird

So for about 2 weeks now, I've had the real urge to watch an old black and white movie. I don't know why - I just have. Maybe they had to be better actors back then, and now we're so distracted by colour and spectacle that we don't mind so much if the acting is second-rate, or perhaps we don't even notice.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying there are no fine modern actors, because there are - plenty of them! But I don't know, there's just something about the old movies, don't you think?

So Luke's parents bought me the movie To Kill a Mockingbird for my birthday last year. I read the book in school, and had always meant to get around to watching the movie. Well, now I can say I finally have.

I was always the kid in school who, generally speaking, actually really liked most of the books on the reading list. However, at the time it was incredibly uncool to say, "I really enjoyed reading To Kill a Mockingbird." So I kept my mouth shut, and would instead have discussions over cups of tea with my mum, who also read it in high school.

For those who haven't read it, To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel written by Harper Lee. She won the 1961 Pulitzer prize for it, and interestingly enough it's the only book she ever wrote. The plot and characters are loosely based on the author's observations of her family and neighbours, as well as on an event that occurred near her hometown in 1936, when she was 10 years old. 

 The main character is a 6-year-old girl named Scout, and most of the story is told from her perspective. There is so much warmth and humour to both the book and the movie, despite the heavy themes of race, prejudice and justice.

The movie itself was shot in 1962, but it was shot in black and white for stylistic reasons. It stars Gregory Peck, who plays the part of Atticus Finch wonderfully. He also looks extremely handsome in those glasses, and now I kind of want Luke to get a similar pair. 

As always, the book is better than the movie, but if you've never read the book or seen the movie then you really should do one or the other. Luke (who hasn't read the book) thoroughly enjoyed the movie, so that goes to show you don't have to have read the book to like the film.

Atticus: They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions... but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.

On a side note, I also really love the emphasis on the importance of a father figure in the book. However, I did at times wonder how on earth the kids got away with running into town every 5 minutes unaccompanied. Well, I guess the world was different back then.

So have you seen or read To Kill a Mockingbird?

As always, here's the trailer:

Until next time :)

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