Mortal Engines

Ik heb het boek gelezen, ik weet dat er een film aankomt, ik dacht: ik kijk eens naar een paar voorfilmpjes.

Eén van de hoofdpersonages in de boeken van Philip Reeve is Hester Shaw. Ik haal er bij hoe ze in het boek omschreven wordt.

De allereerste keer dat we ze zien:

a girl, Tom thought, although he could not be sure because she wore a black scarf wrapped across her face like the turban of a desert nomad

En dan gebeurt er een paar pagina’s later iets, en trekt Tom het ding van haar gezicht weg:

She was no older than Tom, and she was hideous. A terrible scar ran down her face from forehead to jaw, making it look like a portrait that had been furiously crossed out. Her mouth was wrenched sideways in a permanent sneer, her nose was a smashed stump and her single eye stared at him out of the wreckage, as grey and chill as a winter sea.

De auteur, geïnterviewd over waarom hij van zijn hoofdpersonage iemand lelijk wou maken:

Women warriors are a bit of a cliche in Science Fiction and Fantasy, and they tend to be very glamorous or at least good looking.

But it struck me that people who live by their wits in wastelands tend not to be that glamorous or good-looking, and who cares about beautiful people anyway?

So I decided right from the start to make Hester ugly, and I liked the idea that the hero would slowly fall in love with her anyway, which is far more interesting than having two gorgeous people seeing each other across a crowded room and falling in love.

Then it seemed to make sense to give Hester a scar, which she’s received at the hands of the villain, so there’s her initial motivation – revenge – right there on her face; she’s like Captain Ahab with his missing leg!

But I didn’t want it to be a little cosmetic scar – the Hollywood way of dealing with facial disfigurement is always to have somebody who’s a bit messed up seen from one angle but is still gorgeous from most others.

So Hester’s scar is really grotesque; I didn’t want her to be pretty from any angle!

En dan nu even zien hoe ze er in het voorfilmpje van Mortal Engines, de film, uitziet:



Maar bon, te verwachten, zoas de auteur trouwens zelf zegt in de boeken. En het is waar wat dit artikel zegt:

I’m going to guess that Mortal Engines has sold say 400,000 copies. I really have no idea.

Let’s say 10,000 of those readers REALLY CARE about the scar.


Those 10,000 are going to bitch and moan like those Star Wars fans did about The Last Jedi. No matter what.

But if Peter Jackson and Christen Rivers want to make 500 million bank on this film, they gotta get bums on seats and those bums will not have read the book, they will not care about a scar they never knew existed and they will simply enjoy a film where the city of London runs around trying to eat other cities.

Maar toch.

hester (1)

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