I’m a big fan of both Mrs. Dalloway and The Hours (the novels). As far as films go, I thought Mrs. Dalloway fell far short, while The Hours hit the mark quarely.
I saw the Hours in the theater and, from the moment Woolf pockets her rock, I was moved on many occassions to weep openly in the crowded theater. I will cop to being a pretty emotional person, FTR. Anyway, the people sitting next to us obviously had no clue about the novel The Hours or Mrs. Dalloway for that matter, which they made quite obviously by asking each other repeatedly what was going on. “Did you understand that?” one would ask. The reply, invariable, was, “No.”
Now I’m in a Film as Literature class and we’ve read both books and seen both movies (second time around for me on both). Because I’ve been a fan and studied both of these works, it’s impossible for me to answer the question from the other point of view. Of course I think one has to be familiar with Mrs. Dalloway to get the film (and the book, really). It isn’t impossible to see the movie and understand a lot of it, and to take something from it, but I really think a person is passing on a lot of the nuance if they aren’t familiar with Mrs. Dalloway when undertaking The Hours, both in book and film.
What about other people? Do you think your familiarity or lack of familiarity with Mrs. Dalloway affected your experience with reading or view The Hours?
Hope I picked the right forum, here.