Title: The Count of Monte Cristo
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Film Production Studio: Touchstone Pictures/Spyglass Entertainment
Run Time: 131 minutes
Starring: Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce, Richard Harris…
A young man, falsely imprisoned by his jealous “friend”, escapes and uses a hidden treasure to exact his revenge.
The Count of Monte Cristo produced in 2002 is a really good show. I watched it many years ago and I remember liking it at that time too. The last time I watched this movie, I was not also reading the book. This book. O.M.G. This classic book is an intricate and compelling story, but it is so very long! The Count of Monte Cristo written by a sometimes long-winded, Alexandre Dumas is actually 1,276 pages! I didn’t realize it was quite this long when we started reading. Yikes! The review of this very lengthy, classic literary work will come in February. I apologize, but we just couldn’t get through all of those pages in one month!
So now, my thoughts on this captivating tale, as told on the Big Screen… I believe this movie, made in 2002, successfully transferred the dramatic story that Alexandre Dumas penned back in 1844. It was interesting to watch this complex story unfold as compared to reading and visualizing each scene in my own head. Because this book is so drawn out, we are only about 1/3 of the way through it at the time of writing this review. The rich backstory, created by Dumas was effectively condensed…by a lot for the movie. The omission of several facets detailed in the beginning of the book didn’t change the overall plot and for the most part the feel of the entire story is still intact.
One change from the book that I did not appreciate was how cruel and corrupt the prison governor was portrayed on-screen. I experienced strong feelings against the movie portrayal of the prison head, however the literary rendition gave me the impression he ruled over the inmates indifferently and certainly with a less barbaric approach. In the book, Dantes still finds himself in dire circumstances, however, how he got to that point feels less maliciously directed and more inadvertently worst-case-scenario for Dantes. Please don’t mistake my comments. Edmond Dantes has his freedom, integrity, love, family, career and his entire future jerked out from under his feet! He is only guilty of being naive. Danglars and his overwhelming envy of young Edmond, initiates a sinister plot against Dantes. The book explicitly describes multiple situations and environments that inadvertently contribute to the destruction of poor Edmond Dantes. The ‘perfect storm’ of events, theories, encounters and moods that culminate to rain down at precisely the same time to seemingly defeat our protagonist.
Fortunately, this is a book about revenge and (if you believe in it) karma coming back around to ensure you get what you deserve. Can you feel my implication of a happy ending? I didn’t recognize the first time I watched this film, but a very young Henry Cavill is quite believable as Jim Caviezel’s son…great casting!