The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Essay

1. How does the movie follow the novel’s visuals? How not?

The visuals of the novel and the movie were very different from each other. The novel used exaggerated visuals and portrayed the characters differently than in the movie. For example in the graphic novel, Captain Nemo looked angry and evil and the novel portrayed his character differently than the movie. In the graphic novel the colours were mostly dull and dark. However, in the movie there were more graphics, colours and different types of settings. The artwork by Kevin O’Neill may not suit everyone’s tastes, but it does boost the pulpy feel of the series and conveys a whole range of character emotion in surprisingly clever and detailed line work. Picture quality is of ultra-superb quality, never hinting a single bit of flaws, which is amazing since about 90% of the movie takes place at night. Colors are superbly natural as expected in the movie.

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2. How closely does the movie storyline relate to the novel? If there are differences, what can the possible reason(s) be for these changes?

The movie’s storyline is quite different that the novel’s. The Graphic novel has some scenes that the movie doesn’t have for example the rape scene. They probably didn’t include that in the movie to make it less disturbing and appropriate to show the youth as well. Also some characters were introduced differently from the novel. For example in the novel, it was more revealing when Murray and Phantom were in a room together. The film attempts to create some kind of kinship between many of the characters, but as the majority come across as two dimensional, and the possible romantic links between Mina Harker and Dorian Grey are far too ambiguous, Sawyer adds a touch of watery-eyed romanticism, especially through his father/son like relationship with Quatermain.

3. How are the actors made to visually portray the characters in the novel? In what way are they similar or different? What can account for these differences?

In the novel, they portrayed the characters differently by using images such as they made captain Nemo look evil. In the novel, they exaggerated on oriental features and the Arab people. The made the Arabs look like savages and monstrous. In the movie, the characters were portrayed more clearly whereas in the novel, it was quite difficult to tell which characters were actually good or evil. The novel was definitely not for younger children. Without being overly sensitive, one has to also keep in mind that in keeping with the setting and origin of the characters, one of the villains is a pretty vile stereotype of an evil “Oriental”. Perhaps more disturbingly, the serial rape committed by the Invisible Man is treated as a subject of humour. This latter is slightly counterbalanced by having the team led by Ms. Murray, a setup which seems improbable for the setting.

“The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” is reminiscent of those great Classics Illustrated comics, but with a much more adult edge. For example Alan Quatermain is addicted to opium and apparently well down the road to an oblivious death. Also “The Invisible Man,” creating multiple pregnancies attributed to either demons or saints. Clearly this story is far different from the movie. While told with a distinctly adult edge, the story is an epic tale of some of the best literary characters of the Victorian era fighting against a villain intent on conquering the world. In the course of the travails of the unsurely phrased good guys a number of deaths occur, and the significantly less than pure predilections of the heroes form a dark base to a story that is nominally of good versus evil, but turns out to be more of evil versus not-as-evil.

4. How does the movie use lighting, set design, camera angles and special effects to portray the grey area between good and evil?

The movie uses various types of lightning, camera angles and special effects to portray between the good and evil. For example in the beginning of the movie, there was less lighting and everything was shady and dull and had raining sound effects when the shooting scene came up which was an evil act. When Mr. Quatermain was shooting all the “evil” people, the sound effects sounded more heroic, as if he is doing the right thing. When it comes to bad characters, the camera angle changes which creates emphasis and when the good characters come, there is brighter light, the set is designed differently. Evil characters usually have a lower toned voice to sound evil. They usually do close up shots with the evil people. Some of the effects and set pieces are undeniably impressive for example, the appearance of Nemo’s colossal ‘sword of the sea’ submarine, and the ironic portrait of London in July, complete with beautifully exaggerated grey skies and rain-swept streets.

5. Does the movie enhance, or detract from, the novel? How? Why?

The movie enhances from the novel because, the movie used appropriate scenes. The movie uses less disturbing images, less exaggeration with the characters. In the graphic novel, it focused more deeply on the mental problems that each of the characters has. The colours used in the movie are vibrant and enhance the story with effective lighting. The imagery wasn’t detailed and didn’t match my mental image of Victorian England. I thought the ending was just a little too quick. Certainly Alan Moore was attempting to create some surprise in an ending, and perhaps the speedy ending was necessary to prevent people from guessing the ending. Regardless of the motivation, the transition from the story to the ending seemed a bit abrupt. The plot also revolves around massive fight scenes; sense this is a movie tie-in it really does not work. The fights are climatic, but made for a movie and a big downfall for the reader. The diction of the characters doesn’t make their personality. Except for Sawyer, who uses American slang and terms, like “shucks” or “darlin'”. The British characters never use British phrases like “Ticky-boo” or “bloody”.