Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Books Into Movies: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

'Snow Flower and the Secret Fan'
Studio: Fox Searchlight
Originally Released: 2011
Running Time: 1 hr.; 45 min.
Rating: PG-13


Synopsis: A story set in 19th century China and centered on the lifelong friendship between two girls who develop their own secret code as a way to contend with the rigid cultural norms imposed on women.


My Take: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (click title for my review) was one of the very first books I reviewed on this blog. If you want to see how far my reviewing style has come, just read that review! At any rate, it was a book I really enjoyed and so while I had heard that movie was a bit of a disappointment, I was still looking forward to seeing a really interesting book come to life.


Ok people, what the heck happened! Did I miss something in my reading of the book? The movie added a whole modern plot line. I don't remember this and I know my memory isn't amazing but I think I would have remembered this whole back and forth thing. Do they think that American audiences are stupid and can't handle a movie just set in the olden days? Well, that can't be true because they make historical epics all of the time! So, what the heck movie producers! Why did you mess with the story so much!


Naturally my favorite part of the movie was the half that was set in 19th century China and focused on the female friendship that was the laotong. I loved seeing the friendship of Snow Flower and Lily come to life. I thought it was great that they kept that story in Chinese and subtitled it because it kept it more authentic. The foot binding scene, while difficult to watch, was fascinating and the history that surrounded these two women's lives was great to watch come to life.


It saddened me that they dumbed it down with a modern day interspersal but if you loved the book then I do think it's worth watching if only to see the snippets of the 19th century China life in action.


Have you seen this movie? How did you think it represented the book?

21 comments:

  1. Oh, I don't think I would like the movie. I loved Snow Flower and the Secret Fan when I read it.

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  2. Loved the book! Haven't had the chance to check out the movie yet though!

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  3. I thought the movie was awful. My friend said she felt so bad for Lisa See after seeing it. Not only did they add that awful story line, the acting was cheesy.

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one! It could have been so much more!

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  4. First of all, I don't really recommend going back and reading my early reviews either.

    But...Snow Flower is one of my favorite books -- ever. And, the most disappointing book to movie -- ever. My advice, don't even bother. Either read the book or nothing. The movie doesn't have the same tone as the book - at all....

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    1. Phew, so other people didn't start with completely poetic book reviews either? That' a relief!

      It's kind of fascinating to see and analyze though, the difference between the book and movie. The book was so good and the movie ... well what the hell went wrong?

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  5. Lisa See and I do not get along. I don't know what it is. She is wildly popular with readers yet I cannot get through any of her books.

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    1. I have authors like that too. It's good to have a counterpoint voice out there.

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  6. This is one of those books that I've always wanted to read, but never got around to. I had no idea that they'd made a movie. I hate watching things before I've read them so this is the perfect excuse to get the book off my shelf. Thanks for drawing it to my attention, despite the disappointing modern plot thread.

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  8. I didn't like the movie at all but loved the book!

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  9. I loved this book as well - their friendship is so moving. Such a drag that the movie is so awful. I guess I will have to check it out at some point because my site is all about movies based on books. Unless you'd like to do a guest post?????

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  10. Ugh, that is so disappointing! I hate it when producers give audiences so little credit. Oh well, at least you can always revisit the book!

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    1. I know, we liked the book so clearly we have some intelligence!

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  11. I have the dvd but haven't watched it yet. I read the book forever ago but I know I loved it. I was hoping I wouldn't remember enough to make the movie enjoyable but I really don't remember a modern plot. I'll still watch it for the historical part.

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  12. Modern plot line? Oh, buuuu! But I will still see the movie one day

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  13. Ugh. I think I'll just stick to reading the book, which I can't wait to do.

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  14. I loved this book, as I have with all her historical fiction novels. As soon as I saw the trailer I know that I was not going to watch it because it just looked terrible!

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  15. This is why I usually avoid movies based on books. They're almost always disappointing!

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  16. i hate it when movies ruin a good book! i can give too much input since i haven't read the book or seen the movie, but i'm sorry to hear that the movie was dumbed down and disappointing.

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  17. If you are fond of movies, you will never want to miss out this list, containing a grand collection of blockbuster movies.

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