Comparison of the Odyssey and O Brother, Where Art Thou?>Get Your
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Platt Pre AP English 9 5/9/2012 O Brother, This is Not Even Close To the Odyssey Everyone loves to immerse themselves into a dramatic and extraordinary story with evil monsters, brave hero’s, and the desperate will to survive. It allows you to escape your troubles and take you to a new and exiting please with each and every second. However, there are some stories that simply do not capture the essence of breathtaking adventure. The movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? created by the comedic team of Ethan and Joel Coen, simply does not capture the perplexing classic story.
O Brother, Where Art Thou? Is the big screen remake of Homer’s epic poem, “The Odyssey”. This original story is about the adventure of Odysseus as he escapes his seven year imprisonment from the goddess Calypso. This Epic hero battles numerous monsters on his desperate attempt to return home to his wife Penelope, whom he meets again in a heartfelt reuniting. However, in the re-make film, a man named Ulysseus is a prison escapee that is desperate to keep his wife, Penny, from marrying another man, lying and cheating his way to reach his goal.
The Coen brothers have created such a disappointing excuse for capturing a real hero and his adventures to be reunited with his true love. It is near idiotic. The story is so foggy and distracted by the unneeded details, and it abandons the true meaning of the heartwarming story. When a person imagines the heartfelt reuniting of a husband and wife after being separated for seven painstakingly long years, you dream of the relief and joy of the meeting. The story of “Penelope” in “The Odyssey” by Homer reflects this idea exquisitely. The Coen brother’s O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Has a somewhat similar take on the story of Penelope. No matter the specific and thoroughly shown facts that the epic poem is much greater than the comedic film. The wife of Odysseus in the epic poem is named Penelope, and extremely similar to the name of Ulysseus’s wife, Penny. In the movie, they were separated by the federal imprisonment of Everett Ulysseus, and the time it took to return back home. Also similar, the original hero Odysseus was kept from his wife Penelope by his imprisoner Calypso for many years, and the additional years of fighting for his life to return home to her.
Also, in the poem, Odysseus was in his hometown while he saw his wife for the first time after all of those years. So was the place that Ulysseus was reunited with Penny in the film. There are few similarities between the film and the epic poem, but it is still believable that the similarities can not be compared to the shining differences. The poem is such an inspirational and heartfelt spectacle, it makes the film appear unimportant and no deep emotion involved with it. There are extremely few similarities, but there are certainly no shortage of differences between these two stories.
Penelope is such a heartwarming, in depth part of the poem where odysseus meets his wife once again. That is how it takes place in the epic poem anyway. In the film, it is the short, awkward moment of Ulysseus and his wife meeting again, to find out that Penny has completely and totally moved on. Also, Odysseus, in the poem, was disguised as a beggar, and his wife Penelope, had no idea who he really was. She tells him of the whole in her heart ever since her love disappeared, and he knowingly reassured her that her love would return.
However, in the film, Ulysseus angrily approached Penny and demanded why she would ever lie to their children about his death. Penny went on to describe about how she had not missed him one bit. A complete and utter opposite of how the poem’s Penelope had felt. In “The Odyssey” Penelope had many, many suitors that she would never accept for marriage. They ate her out of house and home, practically destroyed her life, only making her want Odysseus even more. All too differently, in the film, Penny had but one suitor, who she was set to marry that weekend, with no remorse.
Ulysseus didn’t even disguise himself to her. This entire reenactment was both rude and uncaring. It showed no relief in the fact the hero of the story survived and was so heroic that he beat the odds. Indeed, it was very disappointing of a story. Most movies have a change to a story to emphasize or make it clearer to the viewers. However, it is clearly disappointing when the changes to the story are unnecessary. Everyone has heard of the saying “the book was better than the movie. ” This is the case for the film translation of “The Odyssey”.
The scene of Penelope is once of those specific scenes where it would be more reasonable to make it more similar to the original. However, it did work for a more comedic plot line. It exemplified crude humor and a lack of true deep emotions. It is exactly what the Coen brothers think when it comes to movie creating. Even though the changes are completely pointless, it adds a somewhat depth to the all-around immature story. But it also creates this unloving relationship between the hero and his love.
This relationship is full of jealousy and unneeded feuding. It may do something for the movie, yet it is simply not enough to make it enjoyable. When a person sits down with a good book or a bowl of popcorn waiting for a movie, it is assumed that there will be a thrilling, capturing story. Unfortunately, the film, O Brother, Where Art Thou? , directed by the team of brothers, Ethan and Joel Coen, is not one such story as determined by the disappointing and idiotic differences to the original epic poem “The Odyssey”.
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The differences in the two were blaringly overwhelming in comparison to the similarities. In this case, the differences did not help in rewriting this incredible tale of “The Odyssey”. Even in the most deep, beautiful scenes such as Penelope, there was a distinct failure by the creators of the film. Penelope called for such romance and heart-lifting emotion, the crude joke of it was almost criminal. Even if the film was taken in a more serious direction, it would have only scraped the surface of such a beautiful epic poem.
Author: Christen Curtis
Comparison of the Odyssey and O Brother, Where Art Thou?>
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