Thursday, October 27, 2016
The Handmaid's Tale, Dystopic Fiction at its Best
In 1990 MGM made an absolutely terrible film version of the story. The acting, script, etc. are awful. It keeps some of the elements of the novel, but rewrites it is such a way that it completely changes the point. The film tries to make Atwood's novel into a typical action movie, and it so doesn't work. Offred becomes a hero. She helps her friend escape. She spies on her Commander for the resistance. In the end, she kills him and escapes with her lover. In addition to being poorly done, the movie has no point.
My students told me that Hulu is making the novel into a streaming series, which will begin airing early next year. Let's hope they do a better job, but my hopes aren't high. Would the public embrace a protagonist who doesn't even attempt to be a hero? Is it the purpose of fiction to teach us about ourselves and about humanity? Or is it merely to entertain? What are your thoughts?