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I just finished reading Stephen King's Misery about a month ago. I
bought the movie on DVD while I was reading it, and I'm glad I did.
William Goldman takes Stephen King's amazing novel and adapts it in a
way that no one else could (not even Kubrick).
Goldman takes each character and makes you see the good and bad in
them, even crazy Annie Wilkes. It was very refreshing to see a
double-sided movie like that.
The movie also includes some violence and gore (don't be fooled, it is
not this horrifying disturbing, disgusting movie), but it is done very
well and doesn't take away from the great story.
James Caan and Kathy Bates both give great performances, Kathy Bates
deserved her Oscar and Golden Globe.
I also admire the fact that Goldman did not directly adapt the book.
Don't be fooled by the impressive credentials: this ugly, abusive
excuse for a motion picture is just a trashy big-budget adaptation of
yet another Steven King potboiler. Even worse, it's a transparent,
masochistic revenge fantasy aimed straight at the fans who made King a
success in the first place. The protagonist is (naturally) a brilliant
novelist, crippled in an auto accident and left to the not-so-tender
mercies of his number one fan, who systematically tortures him so that
he can continue writing best-selling garbage. The plot is not unlike an
inversion of 'The Shining', but without the added element of the
supernatural to give it any horrific guilty pleasures. Yes, the point
is made that writers are always at the mercy of their readers, but
cool, rational man of letters James Caan is, on the evidence of his
cathartic fury of violence at the climax of the film, little better
than psycho fan Kathy Bates (no relation to Norman). In fairness, it
should be noted that the original, downbeat ending to King's novel was
sanitized to make the story more accessible, but not enough to hide the
author's contempt and self-pity.
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