Star Wars and The Bourne Identity
As she heads off to rescue Obi Wan Kenobi from the bad people's planet, admittedly in a skin-tight white outfit BUT fully covering her from neck down except for her hands, Padme (Natalie Portman) falls into the hands of the bad people alongside her 'we mustn't get together because we can't, but we will anyway' boyfriend, ultimate big bad guy Anakin Skywalker, aka Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen). Somehow, during the process of being taken captive, she loses half her shirt and her shirt sleeves. Somehow, Anakin doesn't. Nor does any other character in the movie. Seriously. Why?
OK. That's gripe number one.
Gripe number two is about one of my favourite novels: The Bourne Identity.
I love the novel and I really enjoy most of Robert Ludlum's novels. I'm not keen on sadistic violence in novels or movies, but I'm OK with general, shoot-'em-up violence in context. So, when the movie The Bourne Identity came out, I was excited.
Then I went and saw it.
The disparity between the novel and the movie was OK for the most part, but again, the part that I didn't like most of all was the difference in the character Marie Jacques, who is the equivalent of Padme in Star Wars. Here's a list of Marie in the novel, then the movie.
Novel: degree in economics, works high up in Canadian government in finance department, is first assaulted by Bourne and used as hostage to get out of a building, is then taken hostage by the real bad guys who separate the two and attempt to kill Bourne but he escapes. Marie is then rescued by Bourne, he goes back for her. She sees the good in Bourne (there's a lot of big discussions in the novel) and that he's lost and so helps him out with her contacts, intelligence and ultimately, they fall in love and the novel ends with them living under protection in New York.
Movie: a drifter with no close family or contacts, visa issues, no money and so takes Bourne's money to drive him out of the european country they're in. They fall in love and to protect Marie, Bourne gives her some money to get out of europe and start a new life in an unfamilliar place without him while he deals with the business of those nasty people trying to kill him. She does this and hooks up with Bourne again, but in the second Bourne movie, ends up being shot and appears to die as Bourne watches her body disappear while they're both underwater by the current of the river.
I haven't seen the last in the trilogy of the Bourne movies, so forgive me if it turns out Marie mysteriously comes back from the dead.
But seriously, how pathetic.
The 1975 character of Marie is well-educated, intelligent and a strong person. The 2000-whatever Marie from the movie has no education and is a helpless, desperate woman, who from my perspective, sleeps with Bourne as a result of feeling overwhelmed and scared with being on the run with him. As a woman, that one deviance from the novel really spoilt the movie for me. Surely, if in 1975 Robert Ludlum writes about an independent, strong and well-educated woman, we can at least honour that portrait by giving the 2000 Marie at least one characteristic from the original? Obviously not.