Atonement (exercise 2)

Okay, yesterday was a complete cop out. I wrote in verse, but unnecessarily, simply to make my words appear to have more substance or weight. Afterward, I decided to be the teacher and the student, telling myself the way one would remind a young child: remember, girl, verse must be reserved for emotional or clever uses; it must not be wasted on cheap tricks.

Today, however, I am short on time. So while this entry is in prose (how silly it would be otherwise), instead of revealing more about the inner workings of my ridiculous adolescent mind, I'll distract you with a movie trailer, followed by my unfortunate opinion about Ian McEwan's critically acclaimed novel not living up to Joe Wright's film. Even though it really ought to be the other way around.

Briony, Briony. I know the reader is not supposed to like her, per se, but was I supposed to sympathize with the creature? The film tends to diminish her presence, and to its advantage, I watched Atonement before I read Atonement. Or rather, tried to read Atonement. The first eight chapters were grueling, filled with children bickering about the parts in a play that was, at this point in the novel, seemingly irrelevant. And when pages after pages of irrelevance are presented to a reader, it is easy to lose interest.

Both Celia and Robbie's characters lack depth. Or development, more likely. And while the novel is all about Briony misunderstanding them, if their romance is the heart of the plot, it is not a very convincing one. Within the first eight chapters of the play, I learned more about miscellaneous fictional characters (within a fictional story--Inception, much?) than about the main characters of the novel. All I know of Briony is that she's unbelievable. (And not in a good way.) The diction just wasn't pretty like other novels set in the same era.

I wanted to like this novel, truly. I loved the story the way Joe Wright portrayed it, and I had a couple friends recommend it to me, saying it was "fantastic". I probably set my expectations too high. Or maybe I missed something huge, major, to lead me to the conclusion that Atonement by Ian McEwan was, at best, "disappointing".