Like most new film releases I mention, I’m never sure whether I somehow missed the original wave of knowledge, or if I’m about to bestow some amazing kick ass info on you guys that will have you squealing in excitement, or sighing in exasperation. But either way, it was only yesterday I discovered that there was a film to be released called The Raven based on Edgar Allan Poe’s work starring John Cusack.
My first reaction was huh? How can they possibly come up with a two hour film based on a poem? I was immediately inspired to do some digging and discovered that although the headline said it was an adaption of The Raven, that is not entirely accurate. The film is actually a fictionalized account of the last few days of Edgar Allan Poe’s life.
For those of you who don’t know who Edgar Allan Poe is (I didn’t until reasonably recently) he is a famous poet and writer. A large amount of his work focuses on the mystery and detective genre and he has also been credited by authors such as Arthur Conan Doyle for creating, as well as contributing to the science fiction genre. You can check his poem The Raven out here.
There is still a reasonable amount of mystery around why Edgar Allan Poe died, which is slightly ironic when you take into consideration the genre of his writing. However there are three main theories: disease, poison, and cooping. (The latter being when someone is forced to dress up in different outfits so they can vote multiple times for the same candidate. They are usually beaten up or fed alcohol to get them to cooperate.) However surprisingly, the film does not seem to tackle any of these, but instead follows Poe as he tries to unmask a serial killer who is murdering people in a way that mirrors his own stories. This of course, is a complete work of fiction.
I can imagine that huge fans of Poe’s work will like this as it will allow them to feel as if they are a part of one of his famous stories. I also think it will be enjoyable for them to try and work out ‘who dunnit’. I can see it turning out somewhat like Sherlock Holmes. However I feel like I would have preferred a more accurate account of his final days, or at least, what they think might have happened in his final days. I can’t help but think that there misrepresenting the original man, by portraying him as someone completely different…..I don’t know, I’m a little torn on this one. I have this image of people seeing the film and thinking “oh I know all about Edgar Allan Poe now” and not realizing what they’ve seen is incorrect.
So what I would really like to know, is what do you think? Do you like the idea of this film based around Edgar Allan Poe? Do you have a problem with him being portrayed this way? As literary lovers do we think this is a gift or a curse? On the one hand it could inspire people to read his works, but on the other hand it might not do them justice to turn them into another mainstream blockbuster film….
Let me know what you think 🙂
You can watch the trailer for The Raven below. As far as I know, the film is set for release April 27, 2012, but I’m not too sure if that’s the American release date or the UK one. Time will tell!
P.S. Happy World Book Day!
Film Poster: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Raven_(2012_film)