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Nominal Me

I'm falling in love with my camera and taking photos everywhere I go. That, combined with my passions for politics, sports, religion and other things we all agree on, makes this blog persist.

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Location: Astoria, New York, United States

I'm born in Manhattan and raised in Queens.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Friday Night Lights: The Movie

Yesterday, we talked about Friday Night Lights the book. Today we'll talk about the movie.

There are significant differences between the book and the movie, most of which were done to meet Hollywood conventions and expectations. These changes are not the fault of the filmmaker, it just reflects the respective mediums. It is nearly impossible to capture everything the book provided in two hours.

The issues of education, or the lack thereof, were taken out of the movie. I understand why they did it, as it would have thrown a monkey wrench into the film, making it much more complicated. So the Carter students being given the answer sheets, or the teacher trying to fail one of the football players is gone. Again, I can see why that was take out, but I would have liked seeing it there.

Matters of race in the movie are a matter of perspective. In my view, the race issues were downplayed. To some critics of the movie however, the Carter football teams were labeled as racial stereotypes. The truth is probably somewhere in between. In the DVD director's commentary, it is brought up that there are only so many times you can use the word "nigger" in a movie before it gets to be too much.

The point of race is made in the film, but not to the extent that it is in the book. It's hard for me to tell if this is a reasonable thing to do, or just a bow to Hollywood. The fact that others criticized the stereotype however makes me think that they did the right thing. The tone of the movie is different than the book in this regard.

Brian Chavez is a tight end in the book, but is on defense in the movie. This is one of those nit-picky things that in the grand scheme of things does not affect the story as a whole.

Moving away from some of the key differences, the movie did a wonderful job establishing characters.

It also did a great job showing how crazy the fans get, and how much pressure the coach and players were under. The "for sale" signs on the lawn of the coach after a loss was very true to the book, and the scenes when the football boosters approach the coach about winning state were amazing.

The casting is wonderful. The character of Boobie steals the screen at times, whether he is bragging about his ability or crying while knowing he can't play football again. Some of the movie's finest moments are straight-up acting.

Race was a larger part of the book than in the movie, but it is implied in the scene where the Permian and Carter coaches meet.

This toning down the race issue needed to be done, as we, the viewers, are supposed to root for the Permian Panthers at the last game. If the game was portrayed as a big black-white issue, it would have been hard for 21st Century multicultural audience to accept the team if they did. It also would have given the movie a much more darker tone, making the redemptive quality of the closing montage impossible to pull off.

The book is great. The movie is fun to watch. But they are two different experiences.

I would try to take advantage of both.

Book Reviews

Books: Friday Night Lights


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, can you tell me atleast 5 things that happened in the book , but wasnt shown in the movie? And which was a better story line? the book or the movie? and why?

Monday, 21 July, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds like you want someone to do your homework assignment. HA

Thursday, 28 August, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha, shame on you, Original Anonymous. I did mine on time, I know you go to UTA. You should have never searched for the 5 differences online... Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Friday, 29 July, 2011  

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