A comparison of the Book and the Movie of “Mosquito Coast”

August 13, 2017 September 1st, 2019 Free Essays Online for College Students

After I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book “Mosquito Coast” by Paul Theroux, I was very interested in watching the movie. My anticipation gave way to disappointment soon after the movie began. First of all, the actor Harisson Ford did not seem to suit the part of Allie the Father. Ford was not able to portray adequately how the book portrays Allie. Allie in the book is an irritating person to the people around him. The movie does show the hate towards Allie from some people. For example take the times when Jerry says he hate’s Allie, in the outboard Jerry says he hated Allie and “wanted to kill him”. By not showing this to the audience they do not learn to hate Allie like Jerry did as the movie goes on. In this case I believe that the book does a better job, because it shows the conversation between Jerry and Charlie when that were punished in the outboard. The conversation intensifies the situation and keeps the reader waiting for what is coming next.

The movie also doesn’t show much of Allie’s frustration and anger, for example, when the outboard motor propeller was lost in the river and when Allie finds it, he climbs onto the boat very angrily after listening to what his family was planning to do. At that moment Allie is meant to shout “Traitors!” but in the movie he says it very softly. By acting like that it does not show the anger and frustration inside him. Another situation was when Allie was attempting to transport some ice to where people have never seen it before. In the movie they don’t show much of what happed on this event, like when Jerry was very tired and wanted to stop on the way but since the ice was melting Allie was not in the mood for having a break. Instead the movie only shows a few bits a pieces that leave the viewer confused. But the book is able to show more of the anger and frustration in a way that helps the reader to understand Allies and his character.

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I noticed the movie had skipped out a lot of sections of the book, some, that I think would be important for the audience in a way that would enable to now Allie and his family better. An example of this is that they don’t ever show any of the dares Allie forces Charlie to do. By not showing this, it blindness the audience from the way Allie treated Charlie and doesn’t show Allie’s carelessness of not thinking about the dangers of doing the dares.

I don’t see why the director included the scene where Emily and Charlie meet at the car and she gives him the keys to the car. Having this scene in the movie is useless, because the scene has no relevance to the present situation in the movie and there is no future use to the scene, nothing that follows up from that scene that is relevant to it. It leaves the viewer baffled about why the scene was included in the film. But in the book it shows the use of Charlie getting the keys to the car, so that his mother could get Allie to a safer place.

One thing I found very exiting in the movie was the time when ‘Big Boy’ destroyed Jeronimo. It was very impressive because in the book it didn’t have that much description, so it made it more exiting.

Sometimes in the movie they weren’t very accurate to the book, a good example is thee boat house that Allie makes at their new settlement. The book mentions that the boat house was very strong and water proof but. However in the movie the boat’s roof is made only of plastic sheets and does not appear to be very strong and at the end of the movie it does not even have a roof, this I think totally contradicts what the book.

I believe that the end of the book was a very important event to the reader to be able to grasp the detail of the book. The way the book shows Allie die; killed by vultures is a very significant because it shows the irony of how he got killed by one of his only enemies ‘Scavengers’. But the movie does not show this crucially important event, leaving the viewer bewildered and confused because it does not show the death of Allie.

In conclusion I must say that the book was a much better success in conveying the theme, than the movie. One can understand that a movie can be too prolonged to the extent of loosing the viewer interest of the viewer. But I would comment that to make the movie a bit longer would have helped the movie to include more description to be able to present the viewer with more understanding of the book.


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