May Blind Spot Review: To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)

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to kill a mockingbird poster

“I don’t know if it will help saying this to you… some men in this world are born to do our unpleasant jobs for us… your father is one of them.”
– Miss Maudie Atkinson

SYNOPSIS: Atticus Finch is a lawyer in a racially divided Alabama town in the 1930s. He agrees to defend a young black man who is accused of raping a white woman. Many of the townspeople try to get Atticus to pull out of the trial, but he decides to go ahead. How will the trial turn out – and will it change any of the racial tension in the town ? – via IMDB

To Kill a Mockingbird

GRADE 8I really loved the book, we all know this. I thought it was beautiful and I can understand why it is such a revered classic. I didn’t watch this movie ever because I wanted to read the book first, and I thought that it was a damn fine choice for my Blind Spot movies this year seeing as I read the book last year only. Well, let me tell you, I was impressed with the adaption. Really. There is a lot that is wonderful about it, and it was mostly loyal for the most part. By this I mean it was mostly loyal to the parts that were actually used in the film. There were quite a few scenes that I simply adored from the book and the journey of Jem and Scout that were just not here, and much was underplayed. I missed the inner dialogue of Scout, who really painted a vivid picture of the times for us. Her dialogue gave the events more context and meaning, and with it not being present in the movie in any way, the finer nuances that made this story beautiful were missed. It was still a rich and fulfilling film for me because I have read the book and could fill in what was not there, and I still think that this movie will have an impact even if you haven’t read the book. However, looking at this film for what it was, it took the major issues from the novel and dealt with them. We know that race was a big issue in this book, and societal position and the Depression, but I think that the race dynamic could have been explored in more detail, as well as Atticus’s position in society. It was very sad to see the injustice, to see the performance Brock Peters gave as Tom Robinson, and just to see how the entire situation affected different people. I wish the film had worked more on Jem growing up a bit, the family ties between Atticus and his extended family and how even they didn’t really stand by what he was doing, as well as Scout having a real problem reconciling that she was a girl, though she was perfectly fine running around with the boys rather than having tea and scones. I adore Boo Radley, and the relationship he had with the kids, and really wish that more focus had been placed there, but alas, it is not so. Still, it was a wonderful thing for me to actually see Boo Radley, and Robert Duvall was understated but perfect in the role. Gregory Peck was phenomenal as Atticus Finch, and is pretty much exactly what I had expected of the character. I was a fan of his work and his performance, and it does surely deserve praise. To Kill A Mockingbird was shot very well, and looks lovely. It carried itself well, and the pacing was good. Phillip Alford and Mary Badham were wonderfully cast to play Jem and Scout, and I enjoyed their performances all round. The score was also suited and didn’t jar you from the experience with silly sounds and unnecessary and ill-timed music. This is a good movie adaption of a fine novel, though ultimately I am still a far bigger fan of the book (Hush! Could you just imagine?!) as there was just so much more detail, so many small things that made this story unforgettable for me, and that I would have loved to have seen on screen. Oh well, the world is not a wish granting factory. If you have not seen To Kill A Mockingbird, I would highly recommend it. It is a great story that is entertaining and fascinating throughout.

Review: To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

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to kill a mockingbird book cover

To read a summary of what the book is about if you have (like me) not read it over the years, you can go here.

GRADE 8.5My mother was horrified to learn that of all the thousands of books I have read, To Kill A Mockingbird was not one of them. Let me just say, in my defence, that is isn’t as though I haven’t tried! It’s just there seemed to be a million things preventing me getting to it. I finally decided to get to it when  my mom got on my nerves to try it out. I can completely understand now why this book is so extremely popular and why it is taught all over the world. What an absolutely stunning story! I loved the characters, I loved the events, it was not a thoughtless text, there was so much going on. Initially, I was not sure what the deal with Boo Radley was, but I loved the inclusion of it and I loved how those children relentlessly pursued their attempts to see him at the very least. Atticus Finch was truly an honourable man, and his character fascinated me endlessly. Jem and Scout had the most adorable relationship, and I loved reading about them and their antics. The issues that were tackled in this book are still in play today, which is truly unfortunate. Telling the story from the perspective of a child was also a stroke of genius. The book flowed really nicely, and the plot was nice – the way it took shape was very gradual, and then pulling from all over the show, but never once getting confusing. I cannot believe it took me this long to get to this book, but goodness knows that I am glad I finally did. It was an exceptionally rewarding read, and definitely something I can see myself revisiting time and time again. I finally understand the hype. You know what’s insane? I managed to avoid any and all spoilers pertaining to this book throughout my lifetime o.O Shocking, I know, but it was well worth it. What a fresh, new read (for me, people). Scout, too, was an absolute joy for me, she was just not going to conform to what society expected of her, and was completely content to live her life, not to sit by and judge others. Her hands on approach to life was awesome, and the way she was never going to let being a female be a handicap was something I enjoyed. I do love a strong character, and her innocence in it all made her all the more endearing, too. Aunt Alexandra grew as a character, too, and I always appreciated Calpurnia, she was a great figure in the lives of the Finch children. Well, needless to say I was exceptionally impressed with this read.