Filmmakers are granted artistic license because filmmaking is an art and because film and literature are not always exactly compatible.
There are many artistic components in the making of a film.The plot or the story behind the film is one the most important of these components.The makers of The Joy That Kills in making a film version of Kate Chopin’s short story The Story of an Hour took artistic license to its limits.The entire story was dismantled and then completely reinvented.Many characters that are barely present or do not even appear in the story emerge to play important roles in the life of this young woman with heart trouble in the film.Louise along with the other characters has changed drastically in the transition to celluloid.The filmmakers in trying to make a more appealing movie have forgotten the story they were supposed to be telling.
Louise has turned into a little girl that must depend on man to take care of her.Louise pleads with Brently to go to the gardens of Paris.She begs like a child begging for something that is impossible to give.
Brently must lock her up in their home to protect her from her curiosity and need to see the world.The filmmakers do not give her the commonsense to realize the dangers she would face in seeing Paris and all the other places she would like to visit.Louise remains the little girl in the flashbacks and Brently has replaced her dead father as the soul keeper of her world.
Brently must protect her from the world and herself.She is made to be completely dependent on him from her everyday needs to being her only window into the outside world.There are no female positions of authority in her life.Aunt Joe is left in the background and Marjorie must ultimately answer to Brently.Louise is left to see men as the only authority in her life.
She herself as a woman must feel powerless to the will of men.Brently even chooses the destinations of their daily visits to far off and exotic places. These excursions are Louise’s only escape.Brently is made to be her captor and savior at the same time.
Her fate is completely dependent in his yet she is given no control of either.Louise cannot even learn to control her own imagination.She begs Brently to tell her how to, “make the colors.”She does not understand that the colors were just in her mind.The Louise of The Joy That Kills cannot help but feel relief and freedom at the news of Brently’s death.
He has represented all authority in her life that she has secretly resented but the freedom she feels is not real.She does not possess the sophistication to realize that the prison walls still stand.Louise remains unchanged throughout the film from her childish tantrums to her constant desire to see the world that would kill her.In the end it is her prison itself that kills her.
In The Story.