The Idiot: Novel Required?
23 May 2009
23 May 2009
That’s a really good question, Ryan. I first saw The Idiot without having read the novel, and it was confusing. Now I watched it with the novel somewhat fresh in my mind, and it was less confusing, but I don’t think I really enjoyed it any more than before.
Maybe you could think of it this way: if you read the book first, you can never see the film without having read the book. However, if you watch the film first, then read the book, you can later watch the film again, now with the added benefit of having read the book. (I hope that makes sense.)
So, if you want to experience the film without the novel’s baggage (as I suppose most of the audiences would), you should watch the film before reading the book.
Also, at least in my case knowing the film didn’t have much influence on reading of the novel. The film is different enough, so I never really thought of for instance Kurosawa’s cast or settings when reading Dostoevsky’s original.
I have moved Ryan‘s question from this thread into its own thread here, since it kind of starts a new topic with its question: