Film Talk – Capote

Last week I watched Capote, and I did this just a few short days after finishing In Cold Blood. This was the first time I’d watched a film adaptation so soon after reading the book. Alongside this, whilst reading In Cold Blood  was also the first time that I’d made a concious effort to blog along with thoughts and ideas that sprung up from reading it, so the book was even fresher in my mind because of this.

I was genuinely taken aback with just how well the film works. I had no idea that rather than just being a straight dramatisation of the events of the book, that in actual fact it was in effect a companion piece that added depth to the events and to the author.

One of the things I enjoyed most about the book was the way Capote painted very vivid, very real portraits of the people concerned with – in my opinion at least – a prose style that was effortless to read and that conveyed so much more than even the sum of its parts.

As I was reading the book I often felt that Truman Capote had developed very real feelings and emotions for the people he was dealing with (or at the very least Perry Smith) and the film not only shows this but seems to cover the whole spectrum in regards to what was a complex man. A man who in turns was confident, full of bravado, doubtful, anxious, a liar, an embellisher, charismatic, funny and more besides.

Seeing the journey it took to finish the book and how it took so much out of him is something I am sure rings true with every writer.

His confident assertions about just how good the book will be when it was finished (when he hadn’t yet written a word) brought a wry smile to my face as I remembered my early twenties proclamations about my own work.

And so, in essence, why I loved the film so much is that whilst the book captured a moment in history so very well, so very vividly, Capote the film gave just as good a portrait of the man behind the book, and it wasn’t afraid to show all of his personality.

I’ll end with what I think is a good clip.


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