Flowers for Algernon
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Top Customer Reviews
This version is so much more appropriate for the middle school level than "Charly" (i.e. drug and sexual innuendo).
I have a shortened version of the story I use in my textbooks with my students. This movie is a much better fit than "Charly."
And the message of my review is: please don't watch this film if you like happy endings. It's a VERY good film; but it ends with the hero doomed to failure, yet unaware and determined to keep trying. I think that makes him a noble, tragic character; but for some people, the ending will be just too sad.
And in that way, this film is an excellent translation of the short story, which has the same noble but tragic ending. And in my opinion, it's far better than its predecessor, Charly, that psychedelic 60s relic. As a fan of the short story and of Cliff Robertson, I had high hopes for that film, and was disappointed by its rambling, disjointed story. (Later, I read the novel, and forgave the film a little bit: like the film, the novel is rambling and disjointed. The short story is better, tighter, and more moving.) Though I scarcely know Matthew Modine's work, I'll look for it in the future. He is a far more convincing Charlie Gordon, both as a struggling low intellect and as a troubled genius.
It has been a couple decades since I read the short story, and longer since I read the novel. I'm sure this film probably falls between the two (I don't think the short story included the subplot with Charlie's mother); but it feels like a lot of the fluff from the novel was trimmed out. The result is just about ideal for a 92 minute film, with nothing I would sat needs cutting, and no questions unanswered or character motivations unexplained.
If there's a weak spot in this film, it's the teacher, Miss Kinnian.Read more ›
Because it's a made-for-tv movie, it's not as polished-looking as bigger-budget movies, and timewise, could be longer for character development and to flesh out the story more. However, for what it is, the movie was very well done.
I thought this "Flowers" made Charlie Gordon more sympathetic than both the Charlie in "Charly" and the book. This Charlie was more like the Charlie in the short story version, and I thought the writers made a good call by making him less aggressive and tragic than in the book and 1968 movie. They focused more on the sentimental themes without sacrificing the main theme of the relationship between intelligence and acceptance. For example, Charlie and Alice's relationship was realistic in the sense that we can see why Alice would like Charlie after the operation. In the book and the 1968 movie...those reasons were lost on me. The ending to this movie was also a perfect balance of sad and sweet, and continues to make you wonder long after the credits finish rolling.
In addition, I would like to add that I thought all the actors were great in their roles, especially Kelli Williams. Her performance was very natural, with the perfect amount of depth and feeling. Matthew Modine was also good as Charlie, though sometimes I questioned his portrayal of a mentally impaired guy. In my opionion the actors who played his classmates did a better job of it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good adaptation. Modine's performance shines. Story will tap into your emotions and may stimulate discussion on subjective concepts like fairness and scientific boundaries. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Home in the OC
A very touching tale about a man and a mouse. Both have scientific enhancement of brain functioning and go from being intellectually retarded to becoming brighter than the... Read morePublished 4 months ago by jordyn skye
This book provided great insight as well as enhancing it, beyond the text of the reading curriculum.Published 11 months ago by Roberta J Smith
I love this version of Flowers for Algernon. It kept me engaged with its modern rendition.Published 11 months ago by Jana Lee Wong