Sunday, December 17, 2006

Eragon: A review

There are some things that need to be said about this movie, by someone who has seen it and read the story, as well. For readers of Eragon, you may surely be disappointed. Fantasy film nuts, and non-readers, may be disappointed for other reasons. However, this review is not meant for them. This is simply for those that have read the book or intend to read the book. As is usually the case with books that become movies, the book was much better than the film. As characters said throughout the film,we expected more.

While Christopher Paolini's first fantasy novel was an excellent attempt, and great story, readers could sense the writer maturing as he continued through the writing process. The New York Times Book Review stated that the novel was, "for all its flaws... an authentic work of great talent." And that greatly describes the novel.

What Paolini finished with was a novel that left readers wanting more. The film did not do the author justice, as things that a reader may expect to see are not there, and some (seemingly) vital plot lines are left out. For one, Arya seems so concious throughout the movie, while the book is so much better. Worse, her true identity is provided in the first film, rather than the 2nd story (as with the books)

Furthermore, Murtaugh makes but a brief appearance throughout the film. He is still there at the end of the film, rather than dragged into the dwarven tunnels by Urgals to a mysterious ending beneath Farthen Dûr. He is made out to be a minor character in this film, and there is no development of the relationship that he and Eragon build. A good 250 pages is just glossed over in about ten minutes of film.

Frustrating, still, was the development of the Brom character. Jeod is left out, and Angela (the witch) is barely a footnote. They could have done so much, and yet, did so poorly.

What does this film amount to? It is a good rental for fans of the novel. However, it was not worth seeing in the theaters. Considering the "Empire Strikes Back"-like training sequence of Eldest, I surely hope that those making the film do a much better job. As for Eragon the film, it seems more like Hollywood looked to profit off of the LotR, Chronicles of Narnia movie buzz. This film did not fit younger or older viewers, and there were a number of plot holes. Somebody, somewhere will make their money off this film. Still, it gets a C- in this teacher's gradebook. They could have put in more effort, and provided more clear details.


No comments: