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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Scarlet Letter (1995)



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Demi Moore once explained this film's gross departure from the novel by saying, "Hardly anyone's read the book." Never mind that this isn't true -- how does this in itself justify changes to a film adaptation of a prized work of classic literature?

My stance on unfaithful adaptations of prior works is that the deviation from the source material is not inherently bad -- it's only bad if the adaptation is not at least as good as the original work in some fashion. The 1995 version of The Scarlet Letter isn't even close, in any way, shape, or form.

The original novel was a biting statement about Puritanical society and the devastating effects of its unforgiving nature. This film, on the other hand, is a rallying cry for 1990s morals, feminism, and melodramatic acting. It's as eloquent and sophisticated as rallying cry, too.

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