When you watch a film and like it so much, you will want to
own every piece of merchandise related with it – even
its screenplay so you can re-live every moment and line spoken
in the movie.
is where a book like this will make you fork out money to
buy it and display it proudly on your bookshelf.
a screenplay with precise scene and location breakdowns, this
publication appeals also because of a foreword written by
director Nicholas Hytner, a brief production diary written
by scriptwriter Alan Bennett, as well as a generous serving
of production photos and stills.
is interesting to read how Hytner had doubts about adapting
Bennett’s play into a film. After all, we have seen
some bad adaptations that should belong on the stage (Remember
the bad singing in Joel Schumacher’s 2004 The Phantom
of the Opera, anyone?). It is also interesting to read about
how Bennett is reminded of his school days on the set of the
film. These little stories and anecdotes help you to imagine
what it was like during the shooting of the film.
the screenplay, you can see why the play won a palette of
awards in the theatre scene.
uses some really sharp lines and clever setups to bring out
the boys’ quest for sex, sport and a place in university.
Although the teacher and headmaster roles may be caricature
moulds, their places in the story make you wonder about education
and its purpose.
right here in Singapore, other than Jack Neo’s stabs
at the education system in I Not Stupid (2002), this screenplay
is also apt in making us reflect on those years we spent slogging
over textbooks and examinations in schools.
“We knew our show’s strengths, and though they
included neither a driving narrative now any whiff of the
picturesque, there seemed to be no point in trying to parachute
into the material cinematic attributes it had no interest
in possessing. If there was ever to be a History Boys film,
the point of it would be that it would allow us to intensify
what was exciting about the play."
you loved the wry humour of the film, you will want to buy
this book to check out Bennett’s screenplay. The ultimate
fan in you may also want to get your hands on the book featuring
the script from the play.
by John Li