When it comes to describing one of her characters’ over-grown belly, this is how J K Rowling writes:

“…great apron of stomach fell so far down in front of his thighs that most people thought instantly of his penis when they first clapped eyes on him, wondering when he had last seen it. How he washed it, how he managed to perform any of the acts for which a penis is designed.”

When I first read The Casual Vacancy, I gaped at these words in horror and I could actually feel Rowling’s pent up feelings of being caught writing Children’s novels for over a decade. May be, she went a little overboard, – many women in the UK bought this book for their underage children thinking that it’d be just another teen novel – but what I loved about the novel was way beyond these R-Rated references littered throughout the book.

Now that BBC One and HBO together are producing the mini-series movie version of this book of about three episodes, I cannot sit back and wait for it to happen. Not just because I am over excited and can’t wait for the movie to come about, but also how they are going to manage to pull off the onscreen versions of the complicated characters that Rowling presented in her book. Here’s a list of reasons why some of her characters are damn near impossible to be recreated onscreen.

But before that, I’ve got to say, casting of Michael Gambon, a BAFTA award winner, was a breather. Look at the old guy catching up with a brew on the sets of The Casual Vacancy, and also, if you are wondering, it is Gambon’s penis Rowling’s talking about, but the Harry Potter actor has a reputation for not reading the entire novel even after being cast.

Actors seen on set for the filming of J K Rowling's 'The Casual Vacancy'


So back to the list of things we were talking about.

The entire book is based on characters going through emotional rides connected to a single event: Barry Fairbrother’s death. Rowling brilliantly moves the story revealing her characters one by one, not forgetting to leave her own signature way of describing their appearances with her brilliant metaphors. Her critiques, however, say these characters are slowly paced and are lacking in diversity. Telegraph openly stated that Rowling is only interested in admirable high-class of the society. I wonder why, though, having read many of her emotionally and economically deprived characters such as Krystal Weedon. (Again I cannot help admire her choice of names.)

 So, the list, yeah! But before that: I cannot emulate my writings to repress those critiques’ well-structured crap, but all I can say is looking at a art or piece of work based on its end result would be unwise, if one is concerned about pursuing a career as a critic.

  1. Samantha Mollison:  I liked this character simply because of her snide sarcasm. At the same time, she’s a caring mother and a wife, but is caught up with some hormone-driven thoughts, although she’s old enough to ward them off. Every human being has a part of her inside, and it’d be a challenge for the directors to cast her and pin her to the super fast screenplay. (I’m making a guess, because adapting a 800-paged novel to three-hour movie would take some sleepless nights and hallucinogenic shrooms.)
  2. Vikram Jawanda: This character stays closest to my heart as this represents most of Indian men – not on the physical attractiveness side, but because they stay out of trouble at all cost. Again Telegraph says that Rowling is in love with “admirable sikhs.” Jawanda, although doesn’t play a significant role, spices up the story.
  3. Colin “Cubby” Wall: One of the most thought out characters of the story. He is disgruntled with his own son, but at the same time enjoys being in spotlight whether it’s ridicule or praise. Wall knows everyone secretly hates him, but still tries to win someone’s heart. 
  4. Krystal Weedon: She’s the only cliché in the novel, but she’s well thought out and made to react to situations. Rowling brings a vivid picture of urban London dangling in front of your eyes, with this one character. 
  5. Stuart “Fats” Wall: One of the most complex and dynamic characters of the book. He represents a typical teenager with need that are still unsatisfied. He disrespects his father, and by making him do so, Rowling captures the essence of a typical teenager. Brian Vernel is cast to play the role of Fats Wall and here’s a picture of him:
Cast for Fats Wall: Brian Vernel
Cast for Fats Wall: Brian Vernel

In an essence, it’s nearly impossible to pinpoint a character as holy good or holy bad which makes them very hard to recreate. The dynamism the characters go through throughout this book is brilliantly vibrant and demands great deal of focus and strength from the actors. 

Rowling has managed to write a masterpiece; it’s not up to BBC One to take up the challenge.


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