Being There - A Bit More Like Chance
While watching the movie Being There, the viewer begins to notice just how different the book and the movie are. While the book appeals more to the reader's emotions, the movie gives a comical outlook on the problems faced in both the book and the movie. The contrast between the two places them into separate categories--a touching story about a man trapped in a world of which he knows nothing about and a satirical comedy about the very same man. The book interests its audience, making them hungry to know more; the movie involves its audience, feeding that hunger for more details.
Jerzy Kosinski's short novel, also titled Being There, is a bit more serious than his movie version of the same story . Here, the President is shown as a dignified individual and only on a professional basis. After speaking with Chance and quoting him in his speech, the President has his staff work diligently to find out more about Chauncey Gardiner. The movie, however, actually shows, quite humorously, how Chance's mysterious past affects the President and his personal life, a subject not touched in the book. Many scenes show the President and his wife in their bedroom a nd his wife wanting more than just casual conversation. The President is so preoccupied with the lack of information he is receiving about Chance that he cannot oblige his wife.
Kosinski suggests in the book that Chance is something of an exceptional individual. Cha nce sees things on an entirely different, perhaps higher, level than most people. Before his television appearance, Chance thinks to himself, "Television reflected only people's surfaces; it also kept peeling away their images fro...
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...ance is almost biblical. Is this the feeling that Kosinski intends? What exactly is he trying to say? Both the book and the movie leave their audiences with many unanswered questions.
Although the book and the movie are two versions of the same story, it seems, in the end, that Kosinski intends almost the opposite effect. The book leaves its readers to believe that the story is about a confused man trying to make it in a new world, by telling of both his struggles and triumphs. The movie leaves its viewers with the notion that the story is a lighthearted comedy about a man who is so aloof that he does not even sense the new world aroun d him. So it seems, in a sense, that both of Kosinski's versions of Being There leave the audience with an opinion that is bit more innocent, a bit more inquisitive, a bit more confused -- a bit more like Chance.
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