No thrill in Nancy Drew (the movie)

Posted: October 6, 2008 in All and Sundry, commentary, Film Reviews, TV

If you’re a fan of the Nancy Drew book series like I am, don’t ever make the mistake of watching the movie version. You’ll really be putting yourself up for a major disappointment. While the actress they chose to play Nancy will slowly grow on you towards the middle of the movie, the storytelling won’t.

Of course, my first major quarrel with the movie is that Nancy looks too young. I’ve always interpreted Nancy Drew’s character as having that Veronica Mars spunk, or Harriet the Spy’s wit, but I don’t understand why the screenwriters of the movie had to portray her as someone similar to Tracy Flick! It’s annoying. Nancy was different, yes, but she wasn’t annoying. What made her different is that she acted older than her age. Perhaps the only reason why she might be annoying was that she’s obsessed with sleuthing, which is something that wasn’t really well developed in the movie’s narrative.

I don’t have to go further as to complain of the poor casting of Nancy’s friends because aside from Ned, Beth and George just appears for a just a few minutes in the movie. And Ned looked like a stupid jock, which is far from the way he is portrayed in the book.

But my ultimate quarrel with the movie is really how the story is told. Lacking of the thrill one gets from reading mystery/detective novels like the Nancy Drew series, the movie version just fell short of high expectations, as it is rather reeking with Disney-like version of a detective story: everything is so uppity nice and funny, even the villains. Ugh! I felt like I was watching Home Alone the Nancy Drew version!

If you’re a fan of the book series, you know what I mean. The real thrill of reading a Nancy Drew book say the mystery of the skeleton key or something is that you are always made to feel like you are solving the mystery with Nancy. Through the journey, you almost always feel a strong sense of fear, of anticipation, of confusion, and towards the end, excitement. Once the mystery is solved, you are then caught unawares in addiction of sleuthing, finding yourself itching for another mystery.

Sadly, I didn’t experience those emotions in the movie version of Nancy Drew. And I bet you a hundred pesos, you never will (even if you’ll insist on getting a copy so you could watch it tonight). 😦

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