Wide Sargasso Sea is a book about lost love, discrimination, morality, and the human psyche. However, Hollywood can’t seem to figure this out when they decided to make the movie version of this book. The book Wide Sargasso Sea is an adaptation of the book Jane Eyre. The deranged wife of Rochester, Bertha, is the main character in Wide Sargasso Sea as it follows her journey from the Americas to England, and how she became a lost soul trapped within the walls of her own brain with only one friend, her caregiver. The book goes deep into her past by describing the trials and tribulations of her life, her mother’s past and insanity, and her time in England.
Hollywood didn’t seem to pick up on this.
There were many places this movie could have gone. It could have focused on a certain aspect of Bertha’s, real name Antionette, life. It could have even focused on the relationship between Bertha and her time in England. Instead, the makers of the movie decided to make it…soft-core porn.
Any person who hasn’t read the book was probably thrilled to see it, but if they decided to go read the book, they were probably disappointed. This 50 shades of Grey knock-off features key elements such as intimate relations between the slaves, the main characters Antionette and Rochester, and really anyone in the movie. They turned her insanity into a passionate love story filled with “lust and desire”. It’s as if the directors read the back of the book, added in a couple of sex scenes, and decided they were done for the day. This movie version is so far from the book version that it’s not even an adaptation, just a poor excuse to make porn on an island.
I propose a new movie, an actual movie for Wide Sargasso Sea.
This movie would go somewhat chronologically to the book. It would open on Antoinette’s home island with Antoinette and Christophine. Throughout the scenes on the island, the movie would flash to and from flashbacks to the first part of the book with her mother. The mother’s story would develop as Antionette’s “insanity” develops. Her insanity would be subtle. The movie would only hint at her mental state throughout the first half of the movie. As the island drama played out, the first part would end with the fire and Antionette getting hit in the head with the rock. Many would think this is how it ends, that she will either die or wake up in some foreign hospital, BUT it will flash-forward to when Rochester meets with Antionette.
The second half would open up with her in the attic of Rochester’s estate. It would be a carbon copy of the book’s description. This would focus on the mental state of Antionette, who Rochester is now calling Bertha. Flashbacks to her journey would come to Antionette when she is reminded that she isn’t on a boat but is, in fact, in England. This is where the book Jane Eyre and the book Wide Sargasso Sea come together. The rest of the movie would play out Jane Eyre but behind the attic walls. Scenes such as the stabbing, walking through town, and Jane meeting Bertha would play out. The last scene would end with Bertha’s “dream” of setting the house on fire. As she wakes up, the screen would go black just as she started to light the curtain.
This new movie for Wide Sargasso Sea would correctly display the book and all the morality issues, discrimination, and psychological trauma that comes with it. By using lust and desire as the main attraction, you lose the meat of the book. This proposal is a solution to a real movie for this adaptation to an all-time classic.