Sunday, March 20, 2011

My version of LMI

Elsewhere online, plenty of debate swirls around two film versions of the same novel--Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist.  Me, I loved the book and both films.  But then my mind went to the Japanese novel Ringu, which became a series of successful Japanese films.  And then a Korean film.  Plus an American movie, The Ring.  Last I heard a Hindu version was in the works...

So what if a third version of Lindqvist's book were filmed?  Here's how I'd do it.  Be warned--if you haven't read the book or seen at least one of the movies the following probably won't make a lot of sense.

The Right One (based on the same Jim Morrisey lyric as the novel and first film) would be set in a fictional West Island suburb of Montreal called Noirville.

To distinguish things, I'm naming my two central characters Orrin and Elle.  No, I've never been to Montreal but have read quite a bit about it for a variety of reasons. The West Island is a more 'rural' area and is somewhat heavily Roman Catholic. With that in mind I'd say Orrin goes to a Catholic school run by nuns. More, I'd have him the child of a mixed Anglo-French/Protestant-Catholic marriage that has failed and the bullies would target him in some sense along those lines. Why? Because it seems to me a major theme in the story is they way we refuse to find emotional connections with each other yet also how we do find them. Ethnic and religious conflict seem a good way to illustrate that without having to go overboard. Not that such would form a major plot point, but it would be part of the background and context.

My version would include the police detective character from the book, someone who more-or-less accidentally interacts with all the major characters at one time or another. Said encounters would make up something like a Greek Chorus to the story--not overtly but as a bit of punctuation. He'd be talking to Orrin's class at the start of the tale.  Later he'd meet the couple who'd later be destroyed by Elle, gently warn them about driving while drinking.  As killings by the so-called West Island Ripper became known, he'd appear on television, etc.

Elle's helper, whom I'd call Harmon, is a bit different from either Hakkan or Thomas. I'd like to hint he is a priest, perhaps a pedophile but also a man who has lost his faith then found it again in the service of this genuine supernatural creature. More, I'd like to show Elle as exhausted by his attentions and expectations--he doesn't see her after all but a kind of symbol.

Would I deal with Elle's gender? Depends. Given my druthers, yes. And I'd also like to include Zombie Harmon. My concern would be time, but if this weren't a motion picture it might work. Let us assume it a four hour cable miniseries and then we can go with that. But the whole Zombie thing would need to be streamlined a fair amount--its major dramatic purpose to indicate just how troubled and alone Elle's existence has been.

Actually, a fair amount of the story would be told from Elle's viewpoint. Would love to see a camera shot of her 'landing' at the Hospital window, especially from her POV. And that is also how I'd do the pool massacre--with Elle watching her dear friend Orrin then reacting with such incredible violence at seeing what was happening. Rather than stay with Orrin, I'd have the camera see with Elle's eyes as she destroyed each of the bullies--their terrified faces, the blood spattering everywhere, her leaving one of them alive because of youth and innocence, then plunging into the water to retrieve Orrin who has lost consciousness.

Cut to the aftermath, to the puzzling forensic evidence, the detective trying to figure out what to tell the missing boy's mother...

And somewhere, maybe in a hidden corner of an abandoned windmill where we saw Elle go after leaving the apartment building, we see the steamer trunk. Within it, Elle holds the soaking wet, seemingly dead body of Orrin in her arms. She wakes as the sun sets. Then, do does Orrin, his eyes catlike for a moment. He sees Elle--and smiles.

Just wanted to get that off my chest.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is bad enough that the American version changed things so much. Why would you want to do that again? Why not write your own story instead of butcher and change it in a new movie (my feelings about "Let Me In" too)? If a 3rd version is ever made it should be one that is 100% faithful to the book and shows more than even the 1st movie did.