The Count of Monte Cristo – A Bookish Movie Review

MV5BMTg2MTQwMDk4OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNzM4NTA5._V1._SX341_SY475_I’ve noticed that I’m more likely to think the movie is better than the book if I’ve seen the movie first, and The Count of Monte Cristo is no exception. Obviously compared to the book (especially a book as long as The Count of Monte Cristo!) the usual liberties were taken to streamline the plot. Entire subplots and characters disappeared and in some cases, I do think this was to the movies detriment. The movie also added even more swashbuckling and sword-fighting than were in the book, which was probably unnecessary.

However, despite missing seeing some characters in the movie, I preferred the directness of the movie to Dumas’ rambling style. Unlike some of the book adaptations I read, this directness was achieved without losing the sense of Monte Cristo’s intricate plotting. The dialogue was much better too. I think Mercedes might be a bit too soft-spoken, but with that exception, I loved all of the casting choices and it was a lot of fun to see the characters come to life. I also thought the relationships in the movie had more depth. I adore Dantes’ relationship with the Abbe Faria in the movie and understand the relationship between Mondego and Dantes much better. Although I can’t say too much without spoilers, I found the ending of the movie much more satisfying as well. Overall, especially given the relative time investment, I really would recommend the movie over the book.

12 Comments

Filed under Book To Movie Challenge, Classics, Fiction

12 responses to “The Count of Monte Cristo – A Bookish Movie Review

  1. I have to admit that I’ve never read the book, but I LOVE the movie. In fact, it’s one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s horrible to admit only because I’ve referenced Dumas and TCOMC in one of my own fictional pieces, but have never actually picked up the original story to see if the movie version is a true representation. Either way, I appreciate your review and now I’m a little more intrigued to actually read the story and see how different it actually is. Thanks, Katie!

    • It’s such a good movie! I did feel like it would be nice to be familiar with the source material, but having loved the movie so much, it was hard not to think of the book as not living up to the movie. Obviously not entirely fair to Dumas, haha. It’s a decent enough book, but given that you’ve seen the movie, I’d mostly recommend reading it for the sake of being able to say you read it. Thanks for commenting!

  2. I also loved the movie! My friend bought me the dvd and told me not to watch it before reading the book. I did that, and although there were some characters missing, I did love the movie, but I obviously loved the book more. It’s lenghty, but it’s so worth it… I love stories of revenge 🙂
    If you want, you can check out my review: The Count of Monte Cristo

    • Interesting! This makes me feel like it really is reasonable to always try to read the book first. I don’t think it’s fair to the book that by the time I had loved and rewatched the movie, it was the book that felt like a re-telling! I’ll definitely check out your review 🙂

      • I think that the movie, starring Jim Caviezel, is an example of where I loved the book and the movie. Usually i’m quick to point out and be annoyed by the differences, but the missing parts didn’t bother me. I think it was well done. The Count of Monte Cristo is my favourite classic 😀

  3. Great review! I’ll be reading The Count of Monte Cristo next and will likely watch the movie too. It’s always fun to compare and see what they take out or add in. Did you like Jim Caviezel’s performance?

    • I did! I really liked how his character changes from an innocent young man, to a somewhat insane prisoner, to a really dignified older man. To be fair, I think Jim Caviezel is far too sexy for me to evaluate his acting in an entirely unbiased fashion 😛

  4. I remember in high school (when this was first out) everyone thought they could get away with seeing the movie instead of reading the book for their papers and the teachers KNEW who skipped on the work because of the ending 🙂 I can’t think of this book without remembering that and laughing out loud about it!

  5. “more likely to think the movie is better than the book if I’ve seen the movie first” I’m the same. (Fight Club!) I read the book first so I’m not 100% sure, but I think even if I would have watched the movie first, I still would loved the book more (The Count of Monte Cristo is one of my all time faves), but yes I enjoyed the film adaptation(s), too (and even went to watch the musical). But I like rambling 🙂

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