Classic adaptations with a twistOctober 23rd, 2011 by May
The Three Musketeers, one of the most beloved classical novels of all times, is once again adapted to film. According to imdb there are dozens of adaptation for this story!
But when examining the current version’s trailer, something seems fishy – did they really have flying ships in the 17th century…?
It is always interesting to see classic works get a twist – sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, but almost always, it is refreshing to see interpretations for otherwise too well-known stories. Here are 10 examples:
The classic: Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
The twist: Plot and characters moved to India, and a musical touch is added
Turning one of the ultimate love stories ever written into a bollywood tale? Surprisingly, it works better than we would expect. In this film, Elizabeth Bennet turns into Lalita Bakshi, a beautiful Indian girl who does not spare her wit even from the handsome and incredibly wealthy William Darcy (who remains a British gentleman).
As in the best Bollywood tradition, the film is filled with colorful songs and dances, but the basic story really hasn’t been changed a lot.
The result: Bride and Prejudice (2004)
The classic: Beauty and the Beast, an ancient French folk tale
The twist: Set in modern time (80s) and beauty is a district attorney…
The series centered on the love between New York district attorney Catherine Chandler and a deformed but chivalric man-beast named Vincent, who lived in the city’s labyrinthine underground passageways along with an entire community of fellow outcasts. As Catherine’s crime-fighting duties frequently placed her in mortal danger, Vincent was there to save her from harm and share a star-crossed love that could never be consummated, providing the series with much of its achingly romantic appeal.
The result: Beauty and the Beast (1987-1990)
The classic: The Tempest, by William Shakespeare
The twist: Prospero is now Prospera…
In Julie Taymor’s version of ‘The Tempest,’ the gender of Prospero has been switched to Prospera. Going back to the 16th or 17th century, women practicing the magical arts of alchemy were often convicted of witchcraft. In Taymor’s version, Prospera is usurped by her brother and sent off with her four year old daughter on a ship. She ends up on an island; it’s a tabula rasa: no society, so the mother figure becomes a father figure to Miranda.
Since gender bending is not strange to Shakespeare, I believe this adaptation may actually be in his true spirit.
The result: The Tempest (2010)
The classic: Little Red Riding Hood, a French fairy tale
The twist: Granny and Red are not what they seem to be…
This one strays off really far from the original story. Red and her Granny join forces with the apparently not so big-and-bad wolf and the woodsman, as all four of them become potential suspects in a complex, yet hilarious, police investigation.
The story is portrayed in a Rashomon style, where each suspect reveals his version of the events.
A sequel was recently released, messing around with another known fairytale: Hansel and Gretel.
The result: Hoodwinked! (2005)
The classic: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum
The twist: Dorothy is haunted by her past in an extremely unfriendly Oz.
Small-town waitress DG has always felt like an outsider and experienced strange, recurring visions of a magical storm. However, dreams soon become reality when the evil witch Azkadellia transports DG and her parents to the Outer Zone, also know as Oz. This sci-fi miniseries offers an alternative take on the classic tale of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and stars Zooey Deschanel as DG, Alan Cumming as Glitch, and Richard Dreyfuss as the Mystic Man.
The result: Tin Man (2007)
The classic: Emma, by Jane Austen
The twist: fashion and teenage life
In Jane Austen’s Emma the lead heroine is busy matchmaking everyone but herself. Amy Heckerling, the director of Clueless, took this concept and transferred it to a modern-day high school, while peppering it all with lots and lots of fashion. Actually, the most remembered moments from this film are that of Alicia Silverstone in a preppy mini suite and the scene where she uses her computerized closet – every fashion lover’s dream.
The result: Clueless (1995)
The classic: Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens
The twist: Oliver is a cat, Victorian London becomes 80s New York
Disney brings Charles Dickens’ tale of orphaned pickpockets in the streets of London to the screen with a colorful cast of canine characters. Oliver is an orphaned kitten lost in Manhattan until he meets up with the Dodger, a crafty dog with a gang that leads Oliver on a series of colorful adventures.
The result: Oliver & Company (1988)
The classic: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
The twist: Alice is a grown woman, wonderland is a parallel Sci-fi universe
Alice Hamilton suddenly finds herself on the other side of a looking glass in an outlandish city under the rule of the deliciously devilish Queen of Hearts. In Wonderland, kidnapped captives from our world have their memories erased and are held in a casino. As they gamble, their emotions of joy and excitement are drained, bottled and consumed by the citizens of Wonderland. When Alice’s new love is kidnapped, she embarks on a desperate quest to find him, with the help of Hatter, Dodo and the White Knight who help her navigate the daringly different, boldly colorful and delightfully skewed dreamscape of Wonderland.
The result: Alice (2009)
The classic: Tess of the d’Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy
The twist: Plot and characters moved to contemporary India
An upcoming film by British auteur Michael Winterbottom, who sets his unique spin on Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles against a contemporary Indian backdrop. Freida Pinto stars as the titular Trishna, a young woman who is seduced by the wealthy son of a property developer. As the romance develops, their relationship also becomes increasingly sordid and unstable.
The result: Trishna (2011)
The classic: The Three Musketeers, by Alexandre Dumas
The twist: Zeppelins!
The hot-headed young D’Artagnan along with three former legendary but now down on their luck Musketeers must unite and defeat a beautiful double agent and her villainous employer from seizing the French throne and engulfing Europe in war. The film is full of scenes where Milla Jovovich Jumps between laser rays a-la Mission: Impossible. and also, did I mention Zeppelins?
The result: The Three Musketeers (2011)
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