¶ … film "In Bedroom" story "Killings Andre Dobus.
Too Hollywood: "Killings" vs. In The Bed
In all actuality, it would be exceedingly difficult for any feature film to match the emotional depth and breadth of a (good) work of literature. Although Hollywood will claim otherwise, a true story cannot be told with images but with the connotations, the complexities, and the nuances of words, and with words alone. Subsequently, as can be expected anytime anyone attempts to stretch out a 15-page short story (approximately) into a two hours plus (130 minutes) film, there are several inconsistencies between Andre Dubus' short story entitled "Killings" and its feature film adaptation, In The Bedroom. But that's not the primary problem with the latter which, even more so than the short story itself, is a bloated, exceedingly lengthy production high on theatrics and drama and relatively low on emotion and characterization. The primary problem with the movie version is that it does not necessarily stay true to the characters -- their motives and their depictions -- that Dubus originally conceived in his short story. The fact that these elements are different in the feature film version of this tale is to be expected, of course. But what the film lacks is the betrayal of the true emotions that powers the characters in Dubus' manuscript, which subtlety changes the meaning of the story.
One such instance in which this point is readily apparent is in the degree of resolve with which Matt Fowler regards his slain son Frank's relationship with Mary Ann (whose name is inexplicably transformed to Natalie in The Bedroom). Dubus purposefully leaves Matt's interest in the pair decidedly ambivalent -- it is clear that...
"He touched Frank's bicep, thought of the young taut passionate body, believed he could sense the desire; again he felt the pride and sorrow and envy too, not knowing whether he was envious of Frank or Mary Ann." There are a number of subtle connotations in this quotation that are never portrayed in the movie. The reader does not know if Matt (who is referred to as "he" in this quote) is displaying homosexual tendencies (as would be the case if he were envious of Mary Ann and her attention from the "taut," "passionate" body of his son), or if he is jealous of his son for being with an attractive woman. These moral ambiguities play a deciding role in Matt's decision and method of killing Strout, and animate the former's character despite the brevity of this story. Whereas Matt shows a variety of emotions for Frank and Mary Anne's relationship in the preceding quotation (ranging from sorrow to affection, envy to pride) in the short story, such emotional layers are reduced to sentimental images and largely trite dialogue. The exchange between Matt and his friend Willis during a barbecue in which both men admire the "assets" of Frank's love interest -- who is being called Natalie in the movie -- is a typical example of Hollywood's tendency to reduce emotionally mature, complex passages in literature to laughable exchanges bereft of virtually any wit, let alone understanding and feeling, which Dubus took great care to portray in his novel. Instead of the multi-layered thoughts and feelings which Matt displays towards Frank and Mary Anne in the previously mentioned quotation, in the movie this sophistication of language is exchanged for cliches about "getting my youth back."
In In The Bedroom, however, such complex depth of characterization is largely missing from the performances of all the actors. One of the primary distortions that exist within "In The Bedroom" that does absolutely no credit to Dubus' prose can be seen in the caricature which the former presents of the relationship between Matt and…
Andre Dubus' "The Curse" Andre Dubus' short story "The Curse" illustrates one man's inner struggle with guilt. Dubus includes the essential elements necessary to create a successful classic story in that it contains a high emotional level, complication, rising action, and a climax. The story is also successful because it deals with a realistic circumstance. Mitchell Hayes, as the protagonist, is a very dynamic character. The story revolves around his thoughts and
Dubus Andre Dubus's Meditations From a Movable Chair The title of Andre Dubus' nonfiction book of spiritual reflections reflects the fact that the author now is stranded in a wheelchair, having lost his mobility in a tragic accident. Ironically, his lost was incurrent when he was extending an act of charity. Dubus was helping some people by the side of the road who were experiencing car trouble, in the effort, he himself
Warfare can change someone in a matter of days, as children were apparently transformed consequent to coming across conditions in Greece and as a result of the fact that their innocence and their child natures were virtually taken away from them once they were recruited. Even with the fact that Fritz struggled to stay a child, he did not manage to do so, as the Nazi system had changed
He is identified as follows in the story: "...he had not so much moved through his life as wandered through it, his spirit like a dazed body bumping into furniture and corners. He had always been a fearful father..." This depiction of Matt shows how his love for his family has become a weakness for him, for there is always a fear in him that he will fail as
protagonist antagonist short story called "Killings" Andre Dubus It is difficult to defend the position that the protagonist and antagonist of Adre Dubus' short story "Killings," Matt and Strout, are alike in any sort of way. Virtually the only similarity they have is their mutual admiration and appreciation for the way that Strout's ex-wife, Mary Ann, looks. Nonetheless, both of these men are fathers and they are both murderers. Still,
Killings" is set in a blue-collar New England town along the Merrimack. It is a vision of a somewhat isolated community -- outside of time, not supported by a sense of law or order or justice. Murder essentially goes unpunished -- which is why the main character, Matt, takes the "law" into his own hands and murders Strout, the man who killed his son. Matt, used to taking matters into