From Captain JP’s Log
Recently I saw the new film of Swallows and Amazons, but before a review, a few comments about the difficulty of the task.
Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons must be a hard book to convert into a film – or at least hard in 2016, the era of Harry Potter and, god-help-us-all, the endless re-hashed superheros and battling robots. Books are often defined by the promise from the earliest chapters – i.e. how is the book framed for the reader, what expectations can they have for the story to come?
An excellent example of this is Chapter 1 of Book 1 of the Harry Potter series in which we learn that our hero has a mortal enemy who is the evil wizard that killed his parents. So that’s the peril, the difficulty to overcome and the necessary resolution all made clear – plus major characters like Dumbledore, McGonagall, Hagrid and the Dursleys all introduced.
But in chapter 1 of Swallows and Amazons they learn they are to be allowed to camp on an island, with no sign of the primary plots of Amazons or Captain Flint which evolve later.