I just finished watching the first half of Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel, a mini-series which is based loosely off of books 2, 3 and 4 in the Anne of Green Gables series. I’m hoping to finish the mini-series tomorrow afternoon and hopefully write up my thoughts on it when I wrap up the L.M. Montgomery challenge hosted by Carrie @ Reading To Know, but just in case I run out of time, I thought I’d write up my opinion on the first half today.
Now, I’ve only read up to book three, Anne of the Island and didn’t initially realize the movie would include book four, Anne of Windy Poplars also. I almost stopped the disc when I realized this, but decided I’d waited long enough and didn’t want to continue waiting until I’d read book four, since I really don’t think I’ll have time to read it soon with so many other books on my plate. Now seeing how very loosely they are following the original plots, I’m not sure it matters. I’ll get around to Windy Poplars soon enough.
So far, I have to say that I’ve got mixed feelings about this film – it’s not that I’m not enjoying the movie, it is fun to watch and contains most of the memorable scenes you will want to see. But so many of my favorite characters and scenes and really the majority of Anne of the Island is ignored completely. Old Mr. Harrison, Paul Irving and Anne’s entire college career including her college friends and even Roy Gardner are left out completely and an affair with one of her student’s parents appears to be thrown in for good measure. Now I haven’t read AOWP yet, so maybe she does have an affair with this guy, too, but given everything I know of Book Three, I seriously hope not (I’m trying not to give away a spoiler here for anyone who hasn’t read book three).
Now I can understand that three books are a lot to mash into a 3 hour film and cuts had to be made, I simply think some of them were the wrong cuts. Maybe I’ll have forgiven and forgotten by the end of the movie, and again, it’s not that I’m not enjoying it and in some ways having not read Windy Poplars at least gives me a few plot points where I don’t know what’s coming (except when they blatantly replace scenes from Anne of Avonlea with her time spent teaching in Windy Poplars – like the fire works scene).
I know there’s always a risk taken when you watch a film based off a book – things are bound to be changed or cut short and characters left out. This certainly won’t be the first or last time I’m left a bit disappointed and it isn’t the worst offender of the lot either. I think I’m just feeling a bit sore over the whole thing because I enjoyed the first movie so much. I think it’s unfortunate that they had to change so much because they decided to combine 3 books in one when the first movie was able to devote itself to one book.
All in all, I think the scenes they chose to include were wonderful and anybody who hasn’t read the books would likely enjoy the movie a lot. But having literally just read books two and three, the changes were obvious for me and did not go by unnoticed, for better or worse.