Archive for June, 2001

CAPTAIN CORELLI’S MANDOLIN

9 June 2001

Poor Mr de Berniers! Everyone’s got it wrong and missed the point completely! Can people be so superficial?

[Cover of Captain Corelli's Mandolin]This book seeks to investigate human nature, and mainly platonic forms of love: love for a place, a homeland, an ideal, a political ideal, for a daughter, for commonplace animals, for the enemy, homosexual love, love of fellow man, love for an object (a mandolin), love between fathers and daughters, adopted children, mothers and sons, love between enemies and between old men of differing beliefs in a Greek cafe.

Nothing lasts really – earthquakes and wars may come, what survives is like a tune passed on in the memory. All platonic, all unfulfilling, all unrequited – ungrabbable, fleeting and personal … like music … ephemeral, emotional, and then gone.

For me THAT’s what the novel’s about — and why the author chose Corelli and the mandolin to be included in the title. This is what strings together all the facets, and if this is not realised, then this book will appear a disjointed and clumsy collection of styles and tales.

  • The movie misses this completely, fails to communicate what the whole thing is actually about!

[VHS cover for Captain Corelli's Mandolin]It is so loosely based on the book, that it really ought to have been called something else! It’s not that the book was edited down for film, or even that the basic idea was changed, the facts and actual plot changed beyond recognition!

Mandras turns out to be a hero in the film! The Doctor survives the earthquake! Lemoni moves in with the Doctor and his daughter. The Captain sends an LP and then turns up for the Hollywood ending! The Homosexuality is omitted completely. The Germans are treated nicely in the film compared with the book.

-The plot has been changed such that the Italians join forces with the rebels (!) against the Germans – so justifying the execution which the Captain manages to survive!

There’s no priest, no restaurant, nothing is unrequited, the mandolin plays a minimal role, the music is not central.

Believe me, this movie is so unlike the book that they are can no more be compared than can a pear with a chair.

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