Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Hours - 3M's Review

I originally did a "twin" review of this on my blog. I had seen both of these movies before I read the books, and I recently re-watched The Hours because it was available for online viewing through Netflix. I'd like to watch Mrs. Dalloway again as well. The movie of the The Hours follows the book very closely-there are a few minor changes. Nicole Kidman does an outstanding job in this film. I was most interested in the Virginia Woolf storyline, so I was happy she was so well portrayed. It's funny that Meryl Streep ended up playing Clarissa when she (Meryl Streep) is actually talked about in The Hours (the book). I don't remember the movie Mrs. Dalloway much at all, hence the reason I wish to re-view it.

Well, on to the books. The Hours won the Pulitzer in 1999. It's a cleverly told story that intersects the 3 women's lives very well. However, it does change the story of Mrs. Dalloway into homos*xual relationships. It was interesting to see the twist in the storyline, particularly if you know the real one, but I couldn't help thinking, "Doesn't Clarissa (in The Hours) know that her life is too coincidental with the characters' names from Mrs. Dalloway?" To me, it would have been a better story if Cunningham had left out all the references to the actual book itself. The reader knows that's what it's about, so why keep referring to it? It makes The Hours too unbelievable. It's an interesting book, and I'm glad I read it, but I can't help having mixed feelings about it.

Mrs. Dalloway. I must be too dense in the literary sense, because I just don't get this book at all. I had to stop reading it every half hour because it was just too much otherwise. I felt a similar way this year when I read Inheritance of Loss. I just don't enjoy a book when I have to read it that way. I don't get into planning parties or the minute details of such. In fact, I avoid that like the plague. I'm not into social scenes, either. In this book, everyone loves Clarissa, but isn't she the most shallow character in it? I don't get it. I would like to re-read it again in a few years to see if I feel any differently. At least I feel more enlightened that I have finally read Woolf. I'd actually like to read more about her than by her.

For The Hours:
1998, 226 pp.
Rating: 3.5
Pulitzer, 1999

For Mrs. Dalloway:
1925, 194 pp.
Rating: 3

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