Back in April, Ryan Stewart alerted us to the twist in the new adaptation of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. Celine Rattray, of Plum Pictures, had said: "Esther Greenwood has a strong outlook on life, and we're really looking to bring out the humor in the character. We don't want to do a depressing descent into the world of suicide." Now I can sort of buy that -- not letting the story fall only into the realm of her problems. However, now they seem to be actively pushing the serious side of depression away. Julia Stiles, who will star as Esther, recently chatted with MTV and said: "I don't think it's depressing at all. It is ABOUT depression, but I think that Sylvia Plath writes with such awesome, beautiful, vivid imagery that is so perfect for film, that it's kind of a joy."

It's not depressing "at all." After a statement like that, I have little hope for the production. While there is humor in the novel, it is about depression and about all that the protagonist goes through as she suffers from it. They must be wiping out a good portion of the book if electroshock therapy and suicide attempts aren't depressing "at all." Or, will these be funny and humorous bouts of electroshock therapy, mixed in with a song and dance number? I'm getting a big Home for Purim vibe here, but I don't think this will be even half as funny as For Your Consideration. Furthermore, yes, Plath's suicide definitely influences the tone of the book, but why shouldn't it? It's loosely autobiographical, to the point that one classmate won a lawsuit for her representation in the book, so as much as her fictional self had her future open to her, Plath killed herself a month after the novel's first publication. I'm not sure why they're reacting so strongly against the serious elements of the book. It's as if they don't realize that humor and drama can work together.
categories Movies, Cinematical