Is the Book Really Better Than the Movie?

The Laramie Project, Moisés Kaufman, Pgs 67-69

Overall, the film adaptation created by HBO was mediocre. I expected that with such a intense and serious topic, the film would not have been so “staged.” There were some high points in the film like the interview with the Baptist Minister. This scene was displayed as a deviation from the play where Amanda Gronich, member of Tectonic Theater Project, met the minister on the street after eating a meal. What makes this scene so interesting is the fact that Amanda becomes very emotional and breaks down after her interview with the minister. She was distraught that she allowed him to say such heinous things about Matthew’s “lifestyle.”

“…I hope that Matthew Shepard as he was tied to that fence, that he had time to reflect on a moment when someone had spoken the word of the Lord to him- and that before he slipped into a coma he had a chance to reflect on his lifestyle” (Kaufman 69).

It was a rare opportunity for the audience to get to know the personalities of the members of the Tectonic Theater and their reactions to the opinions of the people of Laramie. The film adaptation reveals that they are also human with feelings, beliefs, and their own lifestyles, which could very much be like Matthew’s. I think that the play avoids adding the members’ opinions in order to keep the integrity of the production and show no bias in the content. I was very pleased that the film added this simple but necessary ten seconds to their movie.


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