Two drifters, one a gentle but slow giant, try to make money working the fields during the Depression so they can fulfill their dreams.
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This was a movie that I wouldn't recommend. It's not as horrible as the other reviewer here made it out to be but it isn't good. The movie doesn't evolve at all. It seems like it is just one big long scene. Once they get to the ranch they pretty much never leave. This makes the story too drawn out. John Malkovich did not play a believable Lennie. Gary Sinise didn't show much emotion for this part. It seemed like he was forcing himself to take this role on and it showed. 4/10
Critics and amateur reviewers alike appear to be so influenced by the genuine strength of Steinbeck's novel, and the generally admirable performances of Sinese and Malkovitch in other films, that they embraced this movie accordingly, not paying enough attention to what they actually saw on screen!
Casting Malkovitch as Lennie was preposterous. The character is supposed to be an imposing mountain of a man, immediately striking fear in all strangers. John is puny, even compared to the miniscule Sinese. This takes away ALL of the power of that character. We simply don't believe he could scare anyone, nor annoy and intimidate Curly. Sinese doesn't portray either the intelligence of George, nor his honest affection for Lennie. Sinese overplays his frustration (merely occasional in the book) to the point where I wanted to yell to Lennie onscreen "leave that rotten SOB!" The dialogue between the two, so powerful in the book, falls apart into an annoying exchange that seems like a phone call between a telemarketer and a reluctant customer. There are many important people at the camp, a rich panoply that focus the main duo and drive the eventual tragedy. But here none of them measure up to their key roles.
Why anyone would attempt to remake this film is beyond me. NOTHING could come close to the amazing black and white original with Burgess Meredith as George, and Lon Chaney Jr. as Lennie. Not only were they great actors, but they melded into their characters so naturally that one believes they are "watching' the novel rather than a movie. I read the book long before I saw that original, and when I finally did, it was as if the very people I imagined in my head appeared onscreen exactly as I thought they'd look and act. Skip this travesty at all costs!