Praised be the Lord!
Thanks to another awesome Reader of mine ( I salute thee Hiroku Takaro-san), I have just come across great news – The best news of the year since I found out that Japan was going to give us a Blu-ray version of ‘A Girl at my Door’! Speaking of, since it seemed like they had access to footage that was not on the Korean DVD, could we possibly be getting a Director’s cut version? Possibly! And speaking of Korea and Japan, this news comes from said two countries!
Fingersmith the Movie – Courtesy of South Korea!
Okay, I have no doubts about this fact anymore – South Korea is the Queen of live action yuri! Japan may have all the manga and rights to the word but when it comes to actually giving this yuri to the general audience through moving pictures, South Korean has no equal. Not only did they give us my current favorite obsession of a movie – ‘AGAMD’, but they are now going to give us a movie based on my all time favorite book by Sarah Waters!
If there is a single person here who hasn’t read Fingersmith, first of all I envy you, for you have still the pleasure to get from reading that book for the first time! Secondary, why are you not on amazon right now ordering yourself a copy?! Actually forget that, go out to the nearest book store and grab one now! And while you are at it, you might have to pick up the other three books of the same author ‘Tipping the Velvet’, ‘Affinity’ and ‘The Paying Guests’.
Just make sure you read Fingersmith last! That book will set your standards for any book you will ever read after it! I am not exaggerating at all! The prizes on this book speak for themselves and this is a 1000% yuri title! You will never come across yuri quality of its kind, ever again! Hell, even the author couldn’t out-do herself on that one!
This book dear Readers, I could praise this book until the end of time itself! I have three copies of it! I have a sealed, unopened new version. I have a hardback copy that I travel with in order to re-read on my journeys. I also have another paper back with the cover based on the Mini-Drama of the book BBC made starring Sally Hawkins as Susan/Sue Trinder (one side of the two faced heroine) and Elaine Cassidy as Maud Lily (the other face).
This book means so much to me! I think I will have to add it in my will that should I ever kick it, they so need to burry me with a copy of this book! If they don’t, I will be the first real ghost to ever exist in the real world! I will haunt the hell out of this place! I ain’t even kidding!
South Korea, the country that makes the most sophisticated movies in movie history, that country is bringing us the movie version of Fingersmith! But wait, that’s not all! The Director who is helming this grand project is the one and only Park Chan-Wook! Don’t know his name? Fear not, for you most definitely know his movies! His rap sheet includes the likes of;
· Sympathy for Lady Vengeance
· Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
All those listed movies are Prize Winners! Thirst won Best Asian Film for 2009 and many other awards like Best Actor, best Actress (Kim Ok-Bin), best Music, basically all the awards! Same awards went for Oldboy with Best Director added onto the long list including best Film! The other two are of course similar in popularity. That director is taking on Fingersmith and I have no quarrels with this choice whatsoever! I am pretty confident that whatever it is, this is going to be a great movie! That part of the project is covered and overall quality is guaranteed!
But that is not the most important part of this project! As with both iterations of Fingersmith, what is most important are the characters of the story! First of all Maud and Sue have to be nailed 100% otherwise there is gonna be blood! The characters, their personality and the way that they are being portrayed by actresses in what decides a good Fingersmith adaptation! It was the relationship between Sue and Maud and they way they carry their individual story! These characters in the book were written to perfection! You will ever find yourself torn between two characters and their story like you will Maud and Sue! I dare say that it is nigh impossible for an actress no matter how great, and no matter how godly a director is, to bring Sue and Maud from the book onto any other media! The other is the man that brings Maud and Sue together and places the devices of the plot. Whoever is going to play him has to be at the top of their game as well. Mr Park Chan-Wook though is experienced in writing complicated characters so like I said, that area is kind of covered.
So what of the other area? Who is playing Sue – our gullible thief from the streets and kind of the main heroine, and who is playing Maud – the rich girl who grew up in isolation and our other heroine? Well, this part here is one of the two where I am not so sure about this this movie!
Sue (Susan Trinder) is going to be played by an actress whose name sounds familiar but I have never seen any of her movies. In fact AsianWiki doesn’t have any other projects listed under her name. But here is the juicy bit – She was selected through an audition for the role out of 1500 applicants!
See how important this movie is?! 1500 actresses signed up to compete for this role! Kim Tae-Ri won that race and landed herself the role of Sue! Surely there has to be credibility to her acting seeing as she beat the other 1499 runner-ups! If anyone knows of what she has done before please do not hesitate to share. I am always ears for my lovely Readers!
But then what of Maud Lily? Well, this is going to put a smile on some people’s faces. Award-winning actress Kim Min-Hee is playing Maud! I best know her from ‘Hellcats’ and ‘The Actresses’ but she is in a lot of dramas as well as other movies. I hear ‘No tears for the Dead’ is a good movie too so I will most definitely be checking it out too. With a powerhouse like her playing Maud, Tae-Ri has to be equally, nay, she has to be much better than Min-Hee because Sue is the more important of the two. But then again, in the story Maud is the more complicated of the two so an established actress is the way to go?
So then some of you must be asking, what is the problem? Well, you see Sue and Maud are both supposed to be the same age. They were both 17 by the time the story started and turned 18 towards the end. Their age was a major plot point in the story of Fingersmith. Now of course we all know that ages of characters necessarily don’t and very rarely match the age of the actors playing said characters but I have a lot of doubt that a 33 year old Min-Hee is going to be playing a 17 year old character! Tae-Ri is also in the same boat at 25. Actually forget their real ages. The first problem is the age gap! Unless Mr Park out-does himself and Tae-Ri brings out a miraculous performance, I am very worried about the chemistry between Min-Hee’s Maud and Tae-Ri’s Sue!
The second problem is that if my gut is telling the truth that the story is going to be modified with this Maud being much older and probably married and Sue too being older and not a favoured daughter, this is not going to go down well, especially to the fans of the book! If there was ever source material that should never be changed in any way because it would never work if changed, that is Fingersmith! I am very worried that they are going to change things that will destroy the awesomeness of Fingersmith!
Now of course things like the setting and the actors not being British can be tolerated and are kind of expected. I have to confess that other than London, nothing of setting stood out to me in Fingersmith and thus I wouldn’t care if they were changed. But changing the character traits themselves, traits that were integrated into the story, changing that is a very big NO! Sue and Maud made up the greatness of Fingersmith so I am worried that the two actresses won’t be able to pull that off and it might come down to their age gap. Will they be able to trounce the possibilities of incompatibility because of difference in generations? I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. There is also Mr Park to help things along.
Speaking of setting, apparently this movie is going to be/is being filmed in Japan? Very interesting choice! I hope that doesn’t mean that the story as changed that much! In the original story Sue travelled just a few hours of train ride from London. She didn’t cross any boarders. Will Tae-Ri’s Sue have to go all the way from South Korean to Japan just to swindle Mistress Maud? Or perhaps the whole story takes place in Japan? Oh man, I am already seeing many changes that are making me incredibly worried! Actually I just checked and it seems that the story will take place both in South Korea and Japan so I guess first theory is the correct one. Or maybe Sue will be travelling from Japan to Korea? But seeing as the movie is set in the 1930s, wasn’t that the time when Japan was in power in Korea? So it has to be Korea -> Japan. Either way the feeling of unease still persists.
Surely anyone who has read the book is feeling the same way?
And once again I am wishing that I had not yet read the book before this movie had come out! I just know I am going to be comparing it to the book no matter what I think or try to not do! And of course it is going to fall terribly short of the real deal! Does someone have a mind wipe machine lying somewhere? Please borrow it to me! What other ways are there to induce amnesia I wonder?
I really envy you all who have yet to read this book. You are in for a treat you will never forget, I can assure you!
Still, still, I am so very thankful that Korea is the country attempting a movie of this book! I am even more so thankful for the Director choice! Fingersmith and Sarah Waters’ works in general have a unique boisterousness to them that only Korea and most definitely Mr Park can pull off! With the trend of movies like the treacherous being the thing these days in Asian cinema, I guess it is no surprise that Fingersmith is coming our way now. It’s been over 12 years since the book was published! Oh man, it’s been that long? *checks* Yep, the first publication was in 2002!
Min-Hee being on the cast list with ha Jung-Woo – who is playing Richard Rivers being an actor with six ‘Best Actor’ awards for his roles in three movies, I think we can all be confident that they are taking this movie seriously! That is very assuring at least. We are indeed guaranteed to have a great movie. My problem is that I am not sure if it will be a great Fingersmith movie adaptation! To those who never read the book it will be a movie to remember but to us who have read the book, the challenge is to be impressed by this movie!
Then again if it fails to impress, we can always read the book again and wipe our minds clean. And believe me, there is no amount of bad that re-reading that book cannot will not wipe clean! It is that good! I would go so far as to name it the Bible of all books, especially yuri books! It is really phenomenal actually! The book is over 500 pages long and yet all the people I know that have read it all say that they finished the book in one go! Of course any reviewer will try to tell readers to make sure they have time before starting it but I am sure there are those that dived into it unknowing like myself, who lost a lot of previous time to this book because they couldn’t put it down once the got it!
I usually read before I go to bed (mostly fan fiction – yes, I print it out) so I read this just before bed as well thinking that I would only spend about an hour on it. Big mistake! I did not sleep that night! Worse still the next day was school day and since I hadn’t finished the book in the 9 hours I had, I spent the whole time in school thinking of that book, all breaks friends were ditched as I continued on reading in class alone. Went back home and straight to reading in bed. I finally finished the book the second night at around 3 or 4 in the morning and went to bed. Of course I couldn’t sleep because the book had taken over my brain!
Two days, I did not sleep for two whole days because of this book! In the six or so years I have had this book (only got it in 2007), I have read it many times all times I read it in one go. I learned my mistake the first time so whenever I am in the mood for
perfection Fingersmith, I dedicate a weekend alone in my bed to this book and enjoy the experience all over again.
So to think that my favourite book is getting a movie, a quality movie at that, well, you can bet I am on cloud nine! With all the bad crap that has been happening in the second half of this year since SSK, it is about time we got some good news around here if you ask me. The news of this movie, which is going to be released next year, and finally getting Blu-ray version of ‘A Girl at My Door’, everything is almost balanced out. With BvS, Civil War, SS and now Fingersmith, 2016 is looking grand already! And if we think of what Japan might be cooking up too that we don’t know about yet, well, these are indeed great times we live in!
Speaking of Min-Hee though, I just remembered something. In the kind of documentary movie ‘The Actresses’, she and Kim Ok-Bin (‘Whispering Corridors 4 – Voice’) made a promise to once be in the same movie, preferably where girls loves other girls. I swear to the Lord God if Ok-Bin had played Sue in this movie alongside Min-Hee’s Maud, my mind being blown would have been the least of my problems! Can you like, just imagine it?! I mean Ok-Bin has worked with Mr Park before on ‘Thirst’ (where she played a badass vampire by the way) so her appearing in his newest project shouldn’t have been a shocker. I am also pretty sure the fans who watched ‘The Actresses’ would have had their pants blown off too if that were to actually happen.
But that is just too good to be true. Those kinds of dreams never become reality. Kind of like YukiRena centring a single together before either of them graduated…
Apologies for the long post dear Readers but Fingersmith means that much to me. It is my favourite book/story/fiction by a long mile. It is going to take a miracle for it to be dethroned. Especially since even the author herself can’t seem to cook up a story better than it. ‘Tipping the Velvet’ almost tried, as far as others go it almost tried. To me though, it was no where near Fingersmith. In that story our main girl Nan (Nancy) fell in love with two different women Kitty and Florence. I wasn’t a very big fan of her and Kitty’s relationship which is kind of sad since it is the one that takes up most of the story. Even though I loved Florence more and she was END GAME, their time was just too short! But those are personal reasons, the story had flaws of its own that I will leave to book critics to explain since it matters much not to me.
There was also a two part drama that BBC dished out for Fingersmith starring Sally Hawkins and Emily Cassidy as I mentioned. The only thing I loved about it was that I finally got to see faces put on Maud and Sue’s characters. I am also a fan of Sally so I kind of over-looked everything else in favour of that. Obviously since they followed the book to the letter they kind of rushed things and the story was hard to follow but if you had read the book, it would have felt like an overview of the whole book. From then on whenever I read Fingersmith I would picture Elaine as Maud and Sally as Sue. I gotta say it added something to the enjoyment factor.
This is why I find myself loving fan fiction more than original stories and why I despise AUs! I watch a fandom, I get attached to the characters, I go out searching for fiction because I fell in love with those characters and their world so I think I am right to be pissed when I read a story in which the characters are different and the setting fucked up. Like, what if the Puella Magi were not magical girls! What if they were in college? What if, what if! Who gives a shit!?!
Okay, this is getting out of control pretty fast. Time to end things. Thanks for reading and I hope you are looking forward to this movie as I am if you have read the book and if you haven’t read it, go get yourself a copy, save a weekend for it and prepare for your world to be turned right side up! You will know why your life has been feeling kind of empty until then!