Movie Review

Please write a movie review for Girl, Interrupted.  Write about the movie in relation to the novel and whether or not the director did a good job translating the text onto the big screen.

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Published in: on November 11, 2008 at 1:57 pm  Comments (12)  

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  1. The movie Girl, Interrupted was an accurate recreation of Susanna Kaysen’s autobiography of her life in a mental institution. Director James Mangold definitely got all of the strong emotions that where brought about the in the novel, however to do this some of the story had to be a little skewed. Obviously, the book could not go directly to movie, so in some instances the movie seemed a little out of order. However, I feel that the film really captured the essence of the Kaysen’s writing. The movie brought the first person writings to life and really added depth to them. The movie might have not been a word for word recreation of the novel, but it got the same ideas that Susanna Kaysen got across in her writings. Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie brought about a great tension that Kaysen tried to show. Overall, I think Mangold did the book justice with his adaptation to film.

  2. Overall the movie gave the text a good connection between each other. However, there were a couple differences and the order in which some events occurred where not the same. I do believe though even with the inaccuracies with the book translated into the movie it describes the book very well. As I’ve been reading through the book I envisioned most of the women as they are portrayed in the movie, and how the director showed the way life was in the hospital. Another difference I recognized immediately was that in the book the psychiatrist that diagnosed Susanna was not mentioned by name in the book, but in the movie we were given a name and he was also a friend of Susanna’s father. In my opinion I enjoyed both the book and movie very much, and the director did a good job in the making of the movie by paying attention to details in the book and describing it well.

  3. Obviously, the movie Girl Interrupted was a completely different story as compared to the book that we read. Alone, each are entertaining, exciting, and memorable. However, it is difficult to unify the two according to their plots. Daisy’s suicide, a major point in the movie in which Susanna reaches her monumental moment of self-discovery, is merely mentioned in passing in the novel. The news is delivered matter-of-factly with a simple “Girls, I have some sad news. Daisy committed suicide yesterday”(35). In the movie, Daisy’s suicide creates an inner turmoil that forces Susanna and Lisa to part ways, an instance that also never occurs in the novel. The entire movie scene surrounding Daisy’s suicide is a result of Susanna and Lisa’s escape from the ward, but as the last page of novel indicates, this never should have happened. The only consistencies between the novel and the movie were the characters and basic ideas that formed in Susanna’s head. Her concepts of suicide and recovery are dispersed throughout the movie where they are entire chapters in the novel. The movie is a result of turning a simple memoir into a drama. I would not advise trying to glean any of the major ideas of the novel from the movie instead because the focus is completely different and misleading from the monumental ideas discussed in the novel.

  4. The director for Girl, Interrupted did an okay job of turning the book into a movie. While the performances of the actresses (Jolie and Ryder) were great the telling of the story could have been better portrayed. There were too many scenes where the storyline of the book was altogether forgotten and things were added for theatric affect. In my opinion, the director tried too hard at showing the insanity of the patients and in doing that forgot completely about the plot and what the author was trying to convey. If I had not read the book previously I would be bored to death through out the duration of the movie with maybe a few moments of excitement to keep me able to watch.

  5. The film Girl, Interrupted deviates from the novel of the same name in many ways. In many ways it does not reflect the contents of the book. For example, the argument between Susanna and Valerie does not occur in the novel. The ending of the movie, is also warped to a degree. It is stated explicitly in the book that Susanna never escapes from the hospital. Consequently, she is not present during the time of Daisy’s suicide, never encounters Ruby, and never begins to open up fully to a therapist. The climax of the movie is entirely unique to the screenplay. Susanna never has a confrontation with Lisa, Georgina, and Polly in the tunnels, and as far as the book reveals, never has a diary in which she reveals her genuine opinions of her fellow hospital mates. What is omitted from the movie is her final encounter with Lisa several years later, when Susanna discovers that Lisa has a child and is doing quite well for herself. Lisa even goes to Temple weekly because she wants her son to have a good life. This omitted scene is incredibly important to the audience’s understanding of their lives after hospitalization.
    These omissions and additions are not without their cinematic reasons, however. The book, largely, depicts Susanna as deep and brooding. As a character, she functions in a largely passive role, observing the actions of other characters while occasionally commenting on her own actions. There is little to go by, save for the word for the author herself, that shows the inner turbulence that Susanna faces. In the novel, her actions reflect hardly any of her frustration and she does not seem insane. To make her character more appropriate for the setting of the story, the filmmakers made Susanna more rebellious and recalcitrant. Thus scenes such as the argument in the bathroom emerge, where Susanna is seen to be angry and frustrated in a way that is not seen in the novel.

  6. Girl Interrupted,the movie, does not remain true to the text of the novel in relation to the events which occur during the course of Susanna Keyson’s stay in the mental hospital. The director seemingly added dramatic scenes and dialogue to produce a more engaging motion picture. However, the director accurately portrays the emotions experienced in Girl Interrupted. The director’s use of Susanna’s narration and frequent inner monologue, especially in the end of the movie, help more concretely express Susanna’s mental state and feelings upon her release from the institution. The added scenes and dialogue, while occasionally completely fabricated, enlighten the viewer to the inner workings of the hospital and of the patients and their relationships with each other. Along the same line, frequently events within the movie and work took place accordingly, but how they were portrayed with greater detail and some dramatic exaggeration or the order in which they occurred help clarify the complex emotions confined to the ward. The director accurately portrays the emotions of Girl Interrupted but does not follow the course of the novel correctly.

  7. Director James Mangold did a great job of bringing Susanna Kaysen’s novel,”Girl Interrupted”, to film. I felt as if the casting of the film, and the soundtrack, are what really makes the movie so captivating. I enjoyed Jolie’s role as Lisa and felt as if she truly brought the character to life. Winona Ryder also portrayed Susanna very well. When asked with the question if the movie brings justice to the novel, one can quite easily answer yes. As I witnessed the characters develop, I felt as if i had a strong connection with the them.

  8. The movie version of Girl, Interrupted was not bad per se, however, it was exceptionally different from the novel. Both major and minor details were altered for better cinematic qualities, resulting in a completely different storyline to follow. Although the director was not able to capture the exact plot structure of the novel, the characters were exact and pulled everything together. For example, Susanna never escaped the ward, and, in fact, that was a huge part of her character in the novel. In the movie, however, she and Lisa escaped to Daisy’s house. Although this scene had not been in the novel, it displayed another realm of Lisa’s personality that needed to be developed more.
    The last scene of the movie was in some ways better than the final chapter of the book, but still does not contain nearly as much of a view of the future for anyone. When Lisa, Georgina, and Polly are in the basement reading Susanna’s diary, they are all able to ultimately realize that what Susanna has said is true. The movie therefore, places Susanna in the heroine role more than the novel. However, the end of the novel shows growth among the characters, especially Lisa and Susanna. Therefore, it is difficult to say which of the two is “better.”

  9. After watching the movie Girl Interrupted, it is hard to find differences between the movie and its novel. The movie does a very good job portraying the novel, which always help the readers because when they cannot understand what is happening in the book, the movie can help. However, there are some differences in the movie. In the book, the readers do not find out the name of the doctor who diagnose Susana, but in the movie, it reveals his name and that the doctor is a friend of Susana’s family. Also, in the movie, things are not in order sometimes. But in the novel, it seems most of things are in order. Moreover, movie can give people an excitement by using music. However, in the book it is hard to give the excitement to the readers.

  10. Although there are several major inconsistencies in the blot between the movie, “Girl, Interrupted” and the original memoir on which the movie is based, the movie accurately depicts the mood of Susana Kaysen’s “rest” in the mental hospital.The movie portrays Susana’s personal anxiety and the emotional instability of those around her in accordance with the book.
    The movie elaborates upon the relationships Susana maintains during her stay at the asylum.The most significant of her relationships is her relationship with Lisa. While the memoir does not explicitly state the nature of Susana’s complex relationship with Lisa, the movie does an excellent job of expounding upon Susana’s both respect and contempt for Lisa. These changing emotions are best seen in the scene in which Daisy commits suicide. Susana wishes she would be able to prevent Lisa from cruelly taunting Daisy. However, Susana respects Lisa because she is a rebel and refuses to conform in society.
    Another important aspect of the movie is that it provides historical background for the story. The incorporation of contemporary music and events including the Vietnam War draft and the assassination of Martin Luther King Junior highlight the tumultuous social context of Susana’s asylum stay.

  11. Directed by James Mangold, “Girl Interrupted” is a captivating movie, which addresses several psychological problems facing the main character, Susanna Kaysen. The film is an adaptation of the book Girl Interrupted, which were personal memoirs ok Susanna Kaysen. Personally, I believe that a film can never be a good adaptation of a book because when a reader reads a book, he/she envisions the story, as he/she would like to see it. When a movie is directed, it is the vision of the director. Furthermore, I feel that movies have started putting the number of tickets sold or the sales made over the quality of the film. There are also several other notable flaws in Mangold’s movie, which make it an unsuccessful adaptation of the book. First, the characters are not as developed in the film as they are in the book. Second, the setting fails to capture the unique vision, which Kaysen expresses in her writing. Third, the book elaborates more on what happens to Susanna’s friends after she is released. Additionally, the film also adds some scenes, which didn’t occur in the book. Overall, I don’t feel that the film was a successful adaptation of the book because it failed to capture Kaysen’s vision. For the sake of entertainment, the movie was good, but certainly didn’t merit any of the award nominations, which it received.

  12. I think the movie Girl Interrupted, accurately depicts the characters and the settings from he novel. Some of the characters appearences were different then I imagined, for example Lisa who was played by Angelina Jolie was thinner, creeper, and more psychotic them I thought she would be. I think that the general main ideas were present in the movie, but it did not go into detail like the book did. The movie ended differently then the book. In the book Susanna gets released because she is getting married, but in the movie she gets released on her own. The movie also just focuses on some main characters and does not mention some that are in the book. Also Daisy’s cat is not in the book, yet was a symbol towards the end of the movie. I enjoyed watching the movie and really liked it, but don’t think it accurately showed all the ideas of the book.


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