Posts Tagged ‘Bourne Identity’

Hiatus

Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Cover of "The Bourne Identity"

Cover of The Bourne Identity

Um yeah, trying to add moving into the current hectic lifestyle isn’t leaving much time, and blogging was what gave once I get out of the habit. We have to be out of the ‘old’ place within the next week, so hopefully I can pick up again properly then.

It’s not such a good excuse for disappearing as stress related amnesia, admittedly.

81. The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum

Not sure I’d have picked this up had DH not wanted to read and compare it to the 2002 film (he was given the DVD versions of all three films), and then wanted to talk to me about it without spoiling too much (we’ve both started the second book, but I’m letting him actively read it first). I think I see that film as much closer to the book’s themes than he does, pointing out the major differences like the loss of the major oppositional character (the terrorist/assassin Carlos) and Bourne’s much altered back-story. Personally I saw it more as a retelling of the story reflecting the change in world politics of two decades.

Marie’s role as love interest to be protected in the film is fairly traditionally passive, and so familiar a trope that we barely noticed it until reading the book’s Marie, who is not only a fully active partner to Bourne, bringing specialist and world knowledge into play that he just doesn’t have, but also far more politically savvy and astute than he is. Instead of being a penniless drifter with little to lose when she throws her lot in with a rich and exciting man, this Marie is a self-made world-renowned, brilliant and highly placed official who makes a real sacrifice to help someone she really didn’t even expect to like. Quite why the film-makers chose to lose the in-many-ways more developed character of the two protagonists is beyond me. I suppose it’s basically that they wanted to make Bourne into a superhero (which he isn’t in the book), so they gave him all her abilities, and only left her the driver and love-interest roles.

So while I don’t always agree with the choices Marie makes, she nearly always does make them in the book (far more so than Bourne himself) and that’s entirely missing in the film. On that level, this is an entirely different story, and one that was interesting to read.