Jerzy Kosinki's Being There

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Jerzy Kosinki's Being There At quaint coffee houses, expensive restaurants, and homes around the world, movies and books are spoken of quite frequently. What happens when a best- selling book turns into Hollywood's project? In many cases, the remade story often does not do the book justire. Remaking a movie after a book can also propel a book and its author into stardom. This is the case for Jerzy Kosinki's popular book Being There. Patterning the remade movie version of Being There after the original book, Kosinski greatly enhances the entertainment value for the audience. "...you're a very photogenic man, you know." (p. 81). "...when I see how good looking you are..." (p. 85). These statements are said by one of the female photographers and the hostess of the UN soiree about the intriguing Chauncey Gardiner. The reader is led to believe that Chance is a handsome young man, possibly in his late thirties, with a very powerful aura about him. When he enters a room, all those present sit up and take notice. On the other hand, in the movie, the audience notices that Kosinki portrays Chance as a striking man, yet he seems to be in his early or mid-fifties. This is not a disappointment to the reader, it just seems a bit suprising. His effect is not diminished when he walks into a room, yet most younger people may not picture him the way Kosinski portrays him. In the written version of Being There, Thomas Franklin, the lawyer who initially threw Chance out of the only home he has ever known, can not place the now famous Chauncey Gardiner. He knows he has seen his face before when he sees him on the television show This Evening. He even believes that he may have met him, but he still has no idea why. On the other hand, in the movie, Mr. Franklin knows right off the bat who he is seeing when This Evening airs. Although he recognizes Chauncey for the Chance that he is, he does not quite put it all together. He assumes that there must have been some government setup at the time he had met him at the Old Man's house.

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