Chaos Walking features a devastating death scene, but this is how the unexpected change it made in the book ruined its emotional impact.
Warning! Chaos Walking Below spoilers
Chaos walkingThe biggest change from its source material took away a very emotional moment from the film. Todd’s (Tom Holland) dog Manchee tragically dies as he and Viola (Daisy Ridley) flee. But a significant change in Manchee’s character detracted from how emotional that moment should have been.
Chaos walking, based on the book The knife of never letting go, tells the story of a teenager named Todd, who lives in a settlement called Prentisstown without women where men can hear each other’s thoughts. The residents of the town refer to this phenomenon as Noise. When Todd encounters a wreck of a spaceship in the woods, he discovers the only survivor of the accident: a girl named Viola. As a woman, she has no noise and that makes her dangerous. Todd has to risk his life to make sure Viola is safe.
In the book, all male creatures have noise. That means Todd can hear his Manchee dog’s thoughts. That detail completely changes the atmosphere surrounding Manchee’s death. When making this choice, Chaos walkingThe climactic emotional moment falls completely flat. But losing that feeling was completely avoidable.
As Todd has made it his mission to get Viola to safety, nearly all of the Prentisstown residents are trying to locate the couple, as they are convinced that the girl is a spy. In both the movie and the book, the city’s resident preacher and story standout character Aaron catches up with Viola and Todd and makes Todd choose between saving Viola or saving her dog; he chooses Viola. But due to the fact that Manchee doesn’t have the noise in Chaos walking, the details of his death scene are different in the movie. On Chaos walking, Aaron catches Manchee and kills him while Todd watches helplessly from afar. But in the book, Todd can hear Manchee calling him in the moments leading up to his death.
Both versions of Manchee’s death are heartbreaking, but the emotional impact of his death scene in the book is accentuated by the fact that he has the Noise. Since Todd is able to communicate with Manchee in the book, their relationship runs deeper than just a boy and his dog. They can bond deeply and share thoughts and feelings with each other. So when Manchee yells at Todd in the moments leading up to his death, the moment is so much more heartbreaking because the audience got to know Manchee and understood his relationship with Todd. But in Tom Holland’s movie, the anguish of this scene is more second-hand. The public simply has feelings for a child who saw his dog die. Chaos walking He probably had legitimate logistical reasons for not giving Manchee The Noise, but it ultimately cost the story its most emotional moment.
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