By Olly Taylor
Lord of the Flies is considered a classic novel and is still read in classroom years after its publishing. Loved and disliked by many, obviously it would make a movie perfect to show after a reading of it. The plot of the film is generally straightforward: a class of boys from a military school are stranded on a deserted island after a plane crash and are faced with conflicts involving an unknown beast as well as conflicts between the boys themselves.
The movie, however, is a wildly flawed and inaccurate representation of the book itself. Originally, the boys are from an English boarding school. The characters in the movie are American military school boys, some of which have specific ranks at their school. The only rank mentioned in the book before the crash is a main character who leads the choir, whose leadership is temporarily dissolved. Another major inaccuracy is the time period: the book takes place around World War II, yet the movie is more modern. Yet another flaw within the movie is that the (spoiler alert) pilot survives long enough to be “the beast” that the boys are so terrified by. In the book, he is missing until he is later found dead. Additionally, certain events from the book are chronologically displaced.
Personally, I thought the movie was choppy and poorly executed. The aforementioned displacement of events was jarring, as were the sudden transitions from one scene to the next. The movie basically throws any sort of symbolism to the wind, which is especially upsetting from the view of a student currently taking English due to the fact we’ve had nothing but symbolism shoved down our throats since the semester began. It has been changed to be U.S. centric, which was an unneeded change. The characters would have still been “likable” and relatable even if they had been kept as English boarding school boys.
The special effects were not necessarily bad, which is pure speculation and not a redeeming quality. The only scene that was added that was an amusing touch was a part in which two characters find an accordion that washes up on shore and claim that it must be “from a Russian submarine full of Olympic athletes.” The movie had many anti-climactic scenes, among those being the death of a character that was meant to be upsetting but was almost painted more as humorous due to the abruptness of it.
Not to mention (an ABSOLUTELY MAJOR spoiler) the scene in which a character talks to the titular “Lord of the Flies” was left out… A scene that is a very important symbolic item in the book as it represents the boys’ consciousnesses and to leave it out is hogwash. So much was lost to poor screenwriting and the ignorance that caused a “relatable” American version to spark from a decent book.
I absolutely would not recommend this movie unless you either a) Have not read the book or b) Like watching utterly terrible movies.