With hype like this, who needs swipes? The New York Times (sort of) tries to explain why a perfectly paced 6-hour mini-series needed a redundant Americanized downsizing.
‚ÄúState of Play,‚Äù in short, seemed so British ‚Äî and so unshrinkable a story, with characters of unusual depth and complexity ‚Äî that a number of people involved in the film version weren‚Äôt sure at first that boiling it down and moving it to the United States made much sense.
Director Kevin McDonald concedes “that very few Americans knew anything about the series was actually an advantage.” In much the same way that people who’ve never tasted real cheese might think Velveeta on Triscuits is an elegant hors d’≈ìuvre, he neglected to say.
The Times tries to help McDonald put on a brave face.
What changed his mind, he added, was his realization that the emotional core of ‚ÄúState of Play‚Äù involved themes of friendship and loyalty that could be translated anywhere.
And yet, four paragraphs later we’re told:
Entire characters were dropped, like a brash young journalist with father-son issues, played by James McAvoy in the original. ‚ÄúThat was gut-wrenching,‚Äù Mr. Hauptman said. And one of the last things to go was an affair between Cal McAffrey, the lead journalist and a friend of the accused member of Parliament, and the M.P.‚Äôs wife. It was probably the single strongest story line in the original, because of the way it moved some of the story‚Äôs larger themes into the bedroom. But in two hours, Mr. Macdonald said, there wasn‚Äôt room for it to be a believable relationship…
So, are we all excited to see the “unshrinkable” shrunken movie with “themes of friendships and loyalty” in which the most important friendships are tossed out because there “wasn’t room for a believable relationship”?