Sunday, March 14, 2010

Push by Sapphire Book & Movie *Review*

Push is the story of Claireece Precious Jones. Precious has been sexually abused by both her father and her mother from a very young age and is now pregnant with the second baby by her father.

Expelled from school for being pregnant, Precious finds herself enrolled in an alternative education class called Each One Teach One. Her teacher Blue Rain pushes her to write, learn, and realize her potential.

I picked this book up at the library the evening before the movie Precious came out on DVD. I cannot see a movie based on a book until I have read the book. I'm glad I read this first. The book, though short, was not a fast read. I figured at a little over 200 pages I would have it done in less then 2 hours but it took me longer then that due to the fact that it is written as Precious talks. Words like "muhver" and "fahver" were words that made me stop mid sentence so my brain could translate before moving on. I found the book to be sickening and heartbreaking.

The next morning I stopped at Red Box and rented the movie Precious. After book club that evening I popped it into the home theater system to watch it. I had wondered throughout the day how the book was going to be adapted to a movie. Incest is a very touchy, taboo, subject that would be hard to film. The movie did gloss over it to much. It was only hinted at with the image of a tatooed arm and a few spoken words. In fact, a sexual abuse scene with her mother that happens in the movie you wouldn't even realize what had taken place had you not read the book. While I'm glad these scenes weren't graphically portrayed, they were so central to the book and to what makes Precious who she is that I wondered if they should have been a little more out there.

The book Push is written from the what goes on inside of Precious' mind, and thoughts and feelings are very hard to translate to film. I was very disappointed in the film version, and am surprised by the acclaim it has received. There was truthfully only one scene in the movie where I thought the emotion was spot on. (The scene where Precious is wondering "why me?" Where she says she is "tired." Where she sobs "you don't know what I've been through.")

The book- 4 stars. The movie- a disappointing 2.

For those of you who have read Push and watched Precious, what are your thoughts on the two? Where you blown away by the book, by the movie or both? I would love to hear your thoughts!