I was invited to a screening of Ender’s Game because I have a personal connection to the story. I know there is controversy about the author of the book, who is one of the producers of the movie. Even with the controversy I still think this story has a positive message.
I was introduced to a book titled “Ender’s Game” when I was 17 years old. I had just come out as gay and was trying to come to terms with feeling different and alone. When an acquaintance gave me the book, he explained that this story might relate to me. Admittedly I wasn't an avid reader but decided to take a chance. I was immediately hooked on the story of a boy who is singled out and different. He’s often bullied because of it. “WOW!” This is similar to what I’m going through and how I feel.
The story goes on to show that through adversity and also diversity you can grow into someone and something of great importance. You find your inner strength to take care of the task at hand and even though you later find out it might not have been the right decision, you learn from it. You take responsibility and grow. You will have people that agree with your vision and will help you to achieve it; and you will have people who disagree and will do everything in their power to squash it. Ironically, the author seems to disagree with his own message.
I have to say that even though the movie got about 70% of the story translated, it missed out on some key elements. Firstly, the movie compressed the beginning of the story way too much. They cut out and mashed a lot of the back-story of Ender, his connections to his family, why he reacts to certain stimuli the way he does and why he was recruited. I understand transitioning from a book to screenplay you trim and cut parts of the story that don’t seem important. However, I think they trimmed too much of the setup. Because of this, the connections - not just to those around him but others that are very important to the dialogue of the story, were not established. People that had not read the book were a little confused.
Because I had read the story, I knew what was going on. After the movie I spoke to my friends who had not read the books, and they said overall the movie was good but they felt there wasn’t enough setup; therefore they were lost and it was a little slow at times. I know it’s difficult to always relay what the characters are thinking but I think a little more narration from Ender might have helped fill in some of the areas that were severely ignored. They also missed out on showing how intertwined all the characters really were.
I am looking forward to the next installment of this series. I just hope they can incorporate more of the original storyline and the main message into the next movie.
I mentioned the controversy at the beginning of this and I’d like to address it in detail now. Orson Scott Card is very outspoken against the GLBTQ community, as well as gay marriage. A boycott has been called from many in this community. I’ve even received a little flack for wanting to see it. I disagree with boycotting something just because of one person who is tied to it. I believe that by seeing this movie and telling my story on how the book actually helped me accept being different and pointing this out maybe it will bring to the light that he’s contradicting himself. He speaks one viewpoint, and in his stories, conveys another. I’ve read some of his other series, and they seem to do the same.