August 04, 2012

To Kill A Mockingbird

I never liked reading books. My philosophy has been, "If there's a movie, why read the book?" However in this instance, I finished the book long before I even found out there's a movie. To Kill A Mockingbird was probably the first required reading from school that I actually finished. Not only that, I genuinely liked it. From the first few pages til the very end, I liked it. I liked the detailed description of everything, the strength of such a story, and the lessons that can be learned. I liked the characterization of every single person in the story, from Atticus, to his kids, to Tom, to the villains, to the people in the periphery. It was well-written and very interesting that I ended up finishing, and liking a required reading for school for the first time. That's pretty amazing, cause I never liked reading.

Apparently, in 1962, the movie version of it was released. It starred Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, Mary Badham as Scout Finch and Phillip Alford as Jem Finch. It also starred Rovert Duvall as Boo Radley (one of the best characters in my opinion in any lietary genre), John Megna as Dill Harris, Brock Peters as Tom Robinson, and James K. Anderson as Bob Ewell. I thought the movie stuck to the book. It stayed true and honest with the details presented in the book. There mught be a few tiny discrepancies, but as a whole it's a moving version of the book. I remember watching some scenes and remembering reading it in the book. I thought that was pretty insane.

The story revolves around Atticus who got assigned to defend Tom Robinson, an African-American male accused of raping a Caucasian woman. If you look back in history, you'd know that during the time the book was written, and probably even the time it got released, racism was a very prevalent matter. Up to now, some people still just can't get over the issue of race. Imagine the times back then. This was the main dilemma of the movie. Atticus is put in a tough position because on one hand, he doesn't want to jeopardize his position in his society and put his kids through unnecessary trouble. On the other hand, he also had a duty to defend Tom who he believed was innocent. Obviously, he picked the latter. Fortunately, his kids, Jem and Scout were mature enough to understand the gravity of what Atticus was doing. It was breaking the rules of society, it was revolutionizing the way people treated each other, and it was a direct , firm stand to sacrifice everything he's got to prove that the man was innocent. I want to leave it up to you to watch it to see how the story goes. But trust me it's a good one.

Another element in the story was the presence of Boo Radley. Boo didn't physically appear until much later in the movie. It's one of the best elements because it tackles judging other people in a different manner. It was all about perspective about him. He was created to be the monster in the movie, violent and not to be trusted. The author of the book toyed with him here and there, and the movie made sure to do the exact same thing. He was an interesting character and I thought one of the reasons why the movie was just as good as the book.

Gregory Peck did so well in this movie. Everytime he talked, I listened. He commanded attention and made sure it was all worth it. I've always considered To Kill A Mockingbird the best courtroom drama movie ever, mostly because I felt the authenticity of it much thanks to Gregory Peck. He's the kind of hero I root for, and the kind of person I wish I could be. Just with this movie, I became a fan of Gregory Peck. He could have had terrible movies and I still would be a fan. He was that good in this. The kids who played Jem and Scout were also amazing. It was funny reading different stories about these kids, especially about the scene where Jem and Scout were playing with Dill. These kids, at such a young age, managed to tackle an impossible feature. It was commendable for all the right reasons.

I really liked this movie. In fact, I can watch it over and over again and I'm sure I won't get tired. It's always inspiring to see it. I've seen it quite a few times, and I always end up in awe of the production. I wish more people would not only watch it, but also read the book. I've never endorsed a book before, but I am condfident in saying most of you will love it. It's a classic, which might turn off some; but try it, and you might get surprised of how much you're gonna like it. As for the movie, I suggest you watch it after reading the book, but watching it first is just as fine. The bottom line is, both the book and the movie were works of brilliance and it must be shared toe everyone. It's one of my favorite movies of all time.

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