I first watched the film on TV earlier in the week and by comparison with the book I was delighted with it, especially with the ending.
Spoiler Alert: Look away now if you’ve not seen the film/read the book.
Just what the heck. There are some massive differences between the book and the film!!!!
In the film, Antonio returns to his beloved, Pelagia, within a few years of having left the Greek Island of Kefalonia where he was stationed during WWII….but in the book he returns to Pelagia after about 35-40 years. (yes well in truth he goes back to spy on Pelagia once a year, but doesn’t make the effort to speak to her and she thinks he’s been dead for all those years and has mourned his loss for all those years).
Slight difference huh?
I really prefer the film version of the ending.
Although the book was captivating and without doubt more gritty and detailed (particularly with regard to the ‘war chapters’), the ending was so sad because while Antonia and Pelagia did end up together eventually (i think), they had missed out on a lifetime that they could have spent together, all because of a misunderstanding, because of pride, because of ‘what ifs’.
And the last paragraph…. the last paragraph of the book….just what was that about?….Antonio has waited his whole life to be with Pelagia and then in the last paragraph he finds himself entranced by some bare legged beauties less than a third of his age?
Oh Gosh, and Dr Iannis dead in the book and alive in the film. I love the film. I hate the book.
Mandras turning into a vile and ruthless rapist who drowns himself in the sea? I hate the book. Mandras not turning into a rapist and drowning in the film. I love the film.
The character of Gunter was more sensitively handled in the book though, but Carlos…well i never really got that whole ‘gay’ thing coming across in the film (I missed the first couple of minutes, was Fransesco featured?), in fact, after having watched the film and comparing it to the book, i found it hard to think back to which member of the cast Carlos was in the film…..the only way i knew in the end was that he was the guy who intentionally fell on top of/protected Antonio, when they faced the firing squad.
I know the book ending is perhaps more realistic than the film, but I want the happier ending, I don’t want to discover that Pelagia realises she’s wasted all of her life waiting for the man of her dreams to show up. Years when she could have been happy giving love a chance with someone else, or even of having been contendly single instead of pining for Antonio who does nothing more than rather feebly (wimpishly) watch her from a distance.
Don’t get me wrong, the book was a fabulous read, but this romantics heart is absolutely crushed!