I’m a long-time fan of Terry Pratchett, author of the wildly funny Discworld series so it was only natural that, when I saw Wyrd Sisters had been made into a movie, I immediately ordered a copy.
I feel it is only my duty to alert other fans or potential fans of Pratchett that this animated video appears to have been made by someone who was completely faithful to the book with the single exaction that the director and either didn’t realize this was supposed to be funny, or completely lacked any semblance of a sense of humor and therefore left out virtually every pun and joke which make Pratchett’s works so entertaining.
For those who aren’t familiar with Pratchett or Discworld, I should mention that Wyrd Sisters is a loose interpretation of The Scottish Play - so loose in fact as to be practically a strumpet.
The Wyrd Sisters of the title are three witches (actually more like 2 1/2) who rescue a baby and eventually turn a fool into a king.
But, whatever you do, don’t risk any contact with the Channel 4 TV/Acorn Media DVD of this book. As Pratchett himself would almost certainly say, it leaves anyone who has contact with it feeling just slightly soiled (here Pratchett would say like British Rail, while I would say like the DMV.)
The book is hilarious.
The DVD on the other hand provides an excellent argument for movie burning, 140 minutes of mind-numbing boredom – proof, if any were needed, that comedy, and British comedy in particular, is far too important and delicate to risk in the hands of a boorish director.
Magrat in particular is turned from an interesting and mildly neurotic child of the ‘60’s into a pathetic rag of a person which no one could work up any sympathy for.
Even Christopher Lee as the VOICE of Death can’t make this video worth the money.
The book, on the other hand, includes a steady stream of gems such as:
“"There must be a hundred silver dollars in here," moaned Boggis, waving a purse. "I mean, that's not my league. That's not my class. I can't handle that sort of money. You've got to be in the Guild of Lawyers or something to steal that much."
“In fact, no gods anywhere play chess. They prefer simple, vicious games, where you Do Not Achieve Transcendence but Go Straight to Oblivion; a key to the understanding of all religion is that a god's idea of amusement is Snakes and Ladders with greased rungs.”
For a brief taste of the depth you can find in Pratchett's writing (if you really must), check out http://www.lspace.org/books/pqf/wyrd-sisters.html