Newest Review: ... of the colour has been drained from Pratchett's original tale. One of the funniest things about the books is the constant asides and obse... more
And other things ending in "-olly"
Member Name: Siibillam-Law
Advantages: Exactly what a Discworld film should be
Disadvantages: Not very newbie-friendly
The Discworld. That word itself conjures images of wizards, the Watch, Rincewind and luggages, Death and witches and great big flying turtles with four elephants all supporting the world. The stories are rich with British humour, keen observances and lampoons of the real world, and often very deep subtexts on the human condition.
So how on earth do you make a film adaptation of such a book? How do you introduce these characters into film, and where do you start?
Well, according to Vadim Jean, it's with Pratchett's 20th Discworld novel - Hogfather, which takes place during the Discworld's celebration of winter Hogswatch, which is strangely familiar to our Christmas. The Auditors of Reality - beings which like the universe to be monotonous and dull - wish to have the Hogfather, the spirit of Hogswatch, killed. The Assassin's Guild decide to give the job to the very bizarre Jonathan Teatime (Marc Warren).
Meanwhile, Death (voiced by the late Ian Richardson) and his assistant Alfred (David Jason) must stop this from happening. Dressing up as the Hogfather and enlisting the help of his granddaughter Susan (Michelle Dockery), they must keep belief of the Hogfather around long enough to make the new day dawn. But how will they stop Teatime and his hired muscle, and why are they going into the Toothfairy's castle?
OK, so if any of that made no sense to you, then you haven't read the book. And I think this is the biggest problem with this feature. Released in a four-hour run over two days, there's nothing wrong with the pacing or the storytelling aspects of the film. It's just, unlike the actual books, which you can pick up in any order and still get some good enjoyment out of, this film kind of seems like it was made exclusively to the fans. There are in-jokes and references to characters from the books, and you can tell Jean is a huge fan of the series, but he makes no real attempt at trying to convert the people who haven't read a Discworld book. None of the character interactions are really explained so you're left feeling a bit confused.
I had been a massive Discworld fan for years when this came out, and if you've been reading them too then you'll get massive enjoyment out of them. There's no doubt that Ankh-Morpork here really feels like Ankh-Morpork should. The characters are spot on, especially Michelle Dockery as Susan, and Joss Ackland as Ridcully. It really does feel like the Discworld
So while this piece is exactly what you would expect when watching the Disc on screen it really isn't for those new to the experience. Definitely read some of the books first
Summary: Definitely watch this if you're a Pratchett fan