Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Gone, Baby, Gone---Book and Movie

It has been five years since I read Dennis Lehane’s intense “Gone, Baby, Gone.”
I had forgotten what a complex and riveting story he created. It is the fourth in his five book series featuring Boston PIs Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro.
Now I will go back and reread the other four.
Being the Lehane fan, I am. I approached the movie with a skeptical attitude.
Director Ben Affleck has made a number of poor career decisions, but bring this book to the silver screen was not one of them.
The movie does not deliver the complete promise of the book, but it has many redeeming qualities.
For one thing, Affleck does not create composite characters. He remains true to the story’s timeline…all though he compresses the time to solve the case significantly.
And, he eschews the current annoying Hollywood mantra of one big explosion every ten minutes.
His brother, Casey, shines as Patrick Kenzie and Ed Harris delivers his usual gripping performance.
Michelle Monaghan remains in the shadows as Angie, not the wise cracking, skilled and attention-grabbing partner she is in the book. Amy Ryan is spectacular as the partying unfit mother whose child is abducted.
Morgan Freeman’s role is as abbreviated in the flick as in the book, but played to the hilt.
It probably is more entertaining if you didn’t read book…but not to read Dennis Lehane is to deprive yourself of many hours of enjoyment.

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