I saw and read: ‘Labor Day’

I have come to enjoy Josh Brolin as an actor hence went to watch ‘Labor Day’ on the weekend when it was released. Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin make for a compelling pair, but the movie has an exceedingly ill-advised plot. Too much of its plot given is away by the two-minute movie trailer so click here if you still want to. For me, its the song “Wings” by Birdy and the beautifully captured locations in Shelburne Falls, MA where the movie was filmed. Go ahead and click the video below for a nice background music while you read my blog further 🙂

Coming back to the movie – The first couple of flashbacks confused me; until I realized that we were seeing flashbacks for BOTH of the lead characters. Duh me…! At some point, I wanted to walk out because I knew that the only happy ending I could hope for was impossible. For me a truly great movie is one where I can’t guess the ending and the ending to labor day was so unexpected. As one critic put it, this movie is more appropriate for Valentine’s day.

Now, as this movie is based on the novel of the same name by Joyce Maynard, hence I was intrigued to know how much the movie might have been manipulated. I borrowed the book from a dear friend and read it as possibly soon as I can.

Just like the movie, the author, Joyce Maynard, takes us back and forth on the backstory of each character while unfolding the story gradually. Each character is presented in a memorable way in this relatively short novel (just shy of 250 pages). Those whom you might least expect become heroes. Even those who fall short are presented in a thoughtful light. People who could justifiably find themselves  bitter are not. Few parts of this book will delight you in an emotionally evocative way while some strain believability. I kept thinking about JD Salinger while reading this book because of the way both Maynard and Salinger really capture the characters thus making them seem so real. labor-day

Every word contributes to the story and the reader’s understanding of the characters and profound understanding of the human condition. Not the best story I have read as I felt like the story kind of wandered at the end but it kept my attention. I haven’t read To Die For and Baby Love by the same author, but I might now as she seems to be a  readable writer.

MG’s Two Cents: My feelings conflict when I think of the book and movie. Hell yes! I wouldn’t have liked the movie as much as I did if I had read the book first. The story is very predictable and I am surprised a movie was made out if it. If it had been told from the mother’s perspective, I believe it would have been different and I might have liked it. For me, it’s a quick summer read. For those of you with more literary taste please stay away! But, if you plan to watch the movie without reading the book, I would say – don’t knock it before you watch it!!

Categories: Books | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “I saw and read: ‘Labor Day’

  1. I haven’t seen Labor Day. But if you want to see Brolin at his best, I recommend No Country for Old Men. I never appreciated what a good actor he was until I saw that Coen Brothers’ film. BTW, the movie is based on a novel of the same name by Cormac McCarthy who I consider to be one of the best writers around these days.

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