Wednesday, January 2, 2013

For The Love Of The Story

That's right, I used the "L"word.  It has many meanings and forms.  At the moment, I think I'm aiming at it in the shade of respect.  I could just say, "For the respect of the story," but it doesn't have the same impact.  Ah, and another point ... opinion.  That's all this is.  An opinion of an opinion.  There again, I think that's lacking in the boom department. 


What do you do when you love a story?  Genuinely LOVE the story?  Reread it?  Buy the movie?  Wear its title on your t-shirt?  Name your goldfish after its characters?  I might or might not be referring to personal experience.  (Bonus points to whoever can guess what Renton is from)

One way I've noticed but am yet to try is by retelling the story.  It can be the highest form of flattery.  If someone loves a story so much that it takes root their heart, their retelling of said story could be epic.  But do you shy away from retellings or remakes?

I used to avoid them and pretend they didn't exist.  That was until I started paying attention to them in the music field.  Aka cover.  There seems to be all kinds of covers.  Some even threaten to top the original version.  Then again, others are cringe worthy.  (Opinion, yeah, I know)  Nonetheless, when someone attempts to cover a song, it's because they admired and appreciated the original, right?

This was the view I took when I started to accept retellings and remakes.  No, it's not the original writer's exact idea, but it moved someone enough to pen their own version of it.  That has potential.  I wouldn't look at it as a replacement, maybe more like a different flavor.  Or with sprinkles.  Who doesn't like sprinkles?

Examples.  Who hasn't heard / read / watched a remake of Pride and Prejudice?  Jane Eyre?  Batman?  Each retelling brings out different aspects of the original story.  It could be  a whole new story.  Maybe the original is a launch pad for a new concept.  While the prototype will always stand as the master copy, remakes take on a life of their own.

One of my favorite stories is The Count of Monte Cristo.  I didn't always like it.  Actually, I used to think it was a bit on the boring side.  Then came along a remake that made me take notice.  From there, I gave the original more attention and grew to appreciate it.  Cue next remake.  I glared at it for awhile before giving it a chance.  Turned out to be great, but I loved it as a whole different story.  While the characters were still there and the idea of Edmond exacting revenge on certain individuals was still the concept, it was in a completely new place, era, world.  It was nothing like Alexandre Dumas' telling.  Of course, there was a nod to his work, which was classy on its own.  Most of the characters' situations were not even close to Dumas' archetype.  I still love the Count of Monte Cristo.  I have my favorite versions.  It depends on my mood as to which version I'd chose each time around. 

There is also Romeo and Juliette.  I've always preferred Shakespeare's vision from the beginning.  His work qualifies as its own genre.  Even still, does anyone know how many remakes of Romeo and Juliette exist?  I've quit counting.  Few held me spellbound like the original.  Others were meant to be nothing more than a rib-tickler.  But there are retellings I'm fond of.  I guess I look at them all as individual stories.  There again, the characters and concept may be the same, but the world it's set in is newfangled.  That, to me, is just as amazing and inspiring as the original writing.  I'd like to think Dumas and Shakespeare would feel the same and see the offered praise.

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