Rabbit Proof Fence Comparison Between Movie and Book

3 March 2017

Rabbit Proof Fence has been published both as a book and as a movie. Being a reader or a viewer entirely changes our point of view on the story. As a reader, we get descriptive insight on the situations and emotions of the characters. We are then able to re-create these visually using our imagination and have endless freedom doing so. As a viewer, our creativity is somewhat restricted. We do not imagine the characters’ physical appearance, the locations or the overall situations in the same way as in a book.

These elements are already given to us. Throughout this essay I will be exploring how the music and the filming creates a contrast between reading the book with elaborate descriptions. Emotions are felt entirely differently from reading the book to watching the movie. From a personal point of view, I felt much more touched by the movie. Having less dialogue and descriptions in my point of view enables a person to really feel as if they are a part of the story. Music in a movie plays a crucial role.

Rabbit Proof Fence Comparison Between Movie and Book Essay Example

In Rabbit Proof Fence, most of the time, the music consists of melancholic music; often, a heavy and deep drumbeat is heard. When the girls are taken away from their families, A scene that differs greatly from the book to the movie on hitting our emotions was when the girls are taken away from their families. In the movie, this scene is extremely dramatic. We get a film-shot back and forth of the girls leaving with their expressive faces, as well as the mothers crying and moaning, falling on the floor out of desperation and exasperation.

Visually we see the girls being taken away, slowly getting increasingly further away. This makes it extremely emotional and expressive for the viewer. In the book, the expressions of the little girls are described as “…tears streaming down their cheeks” (44) and “The two frightened and miserable girls began to cry, silently at first, then uncontrollably…” (45). Although when reading this we get a reasonably clear image in our minds, I personally did not find it as affective as the movie.

The description for the adult’s emotions were slightly more graphic and poignant, yet still did not have a strong emotional impact on me: “The cries of the agonised mothers and the women, and the deep sobs of grandfathers, uncles and cousins filled the air” (44-45), and “…their grief made worse by the lamentations of their loved ones and the visions of them sitting on the ground in their camp letting their tears mix with the red blood that flowed from the cuts on their heads. Another scene in the movie shows the three girls walking down the river, whilst they are escaping. The tracker is on his horse, also making his way down the river, looking for them. Because of the way this scene is filmed, it is hard to realise the distance and amount of time separating them. This is purposely done in order to create tension in the viewer and put an emphasis on the consequences of the girls being caught. We do not know how far they are from each other because of the scenery being almost identical.

He is following their footsteps through the river surrounded by the forest, with all the trees and foliage being practically the same. The notion of time and space is utterly different from in the book. In the book we do not get an impression of him being so close. In the book, we do not have this “back and forth” description of the girls and the tracker, and their progress. We simply have an account of the difficulties of the girls getting through the “flooded river area” (82), that is much less dramatic than in the movie.

Even after achieving that step of the escape, the girl’s state is only described as being “Molly was pleased that the mud and slush and the swamp paperbarks were behind them” (85). What is interesting to note with the notion of time, space and distance is the fact that what appears to be a long period of time due to vivid descriptions in the book, can in fact only be a few seconds in the movie. The opposite also happens, this of course depends on the decisions of the producers on what events they want to put an accent on.

I believe that the music also creates a strong impact, as it is very intense, deep and striking throughout the movie. Nevertheless, at the end when Molly and Daisy see their families again, the music is blissful, yet dramatic, to emphasise the deep down satisfaction they all are feeling. Furthermore the way this last scene is filmed I found brilliant. The girls are filmed from a wide perspective, running towards their families in slow motion. The slow motion stresses the importance of a moment in time.

It enables the viewer to have the time to try to feel as if they are a part of the movie and the occurring scene. Additionally, in this scene, the girls are portrayed as silhouettes. Silhouettes generate a dramatic effect. Usually they can be seen as being romantic; in this case it is to represent the love in the family being an important thriving point. In the book the reunite is no way near as emotionally stirring, and is entirely different. There is no recollection of this intense moment. As it is in my opinion a crucial moment in the story fter a build-up of so many events, I feel it is a great shame that it has not been exposed better. Molly sees an eagle soaring in the sky. In the book, it Molly’s mother tells her this will be her “guardian” and her guide. In the movie, the protagonist simply says softly: “home”. Just by this word, and by the way that the eagle is filmed from below, as if we are seeing through her eyes, we can understand that the eagle is representing a symbol of hope, spirit, and freedom to her and Gracie. I found this to be one of the most salient parts of the movie, and yet again did not find it as stirring in the book.

The epilogue of the movie was fantastic. After the families have been reunited, we simply have a scene where the camera slowly moves, showing us the Australian landscape. This is a beautiful moment filmed from above, with some voice over recollecting the difficulties of the journey. This is a very effective story telling device. I found this to be more engaging than the way the book ends. The last chapter is called “What happened to them? Where are they now? ” (131). This gives an account of the girls lives, when they have become adult.

These, in my opinion, are written in a very dull way, using subtitles for each of the characters, followed by the description. The end of the book does not end with anything more engaging; it simply ends with the description of “Daisy Kadibil” (132): “…This book may not have been written had it not been for her skill and love or storytelling, her vivid memory and her zest for life. Daisy now lives with her son and daughters and their families at Jigalong” (133). It does not give the reader an opportunity to emotionally attach him/herself to the reading.

To conclude, I found the movie much more captivating than the book. The music and way the movie is filmed change a lot for me from an emotional point of view. I find it much more engaging. What is extremely elaborate in the book can be portrayed in the movie much more effectively in a more concise way, which makes it more engaging. The notion of time and distance, use of slow motion, silhouettes, and the music make us able to emotionally connect to the characters and really feel what they are going through. Personally, I was not able to connect this way whilst reading the book.

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