E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
William Kotzwinkle (Based on a screenplay by Melissa Mathison of the Steven Spielberg film)
Don’t peek in windows.
The ancient space traveler was one of the crew of extraterrestrial botanists who landed on Earth to collect every specimen of the Earth’s foliage. Unfortunately his curiosity got the better of him and he was left stranded. Struggling to avoid being caught and stuffed by taxidermists for display, he encounters the children of the “willow creature” Mary from inside the windows: Elliott, Michael, and Gertie.
To them, he’s a magical being from another world; to him, they are unforgettable friends.
Just like ET, my curiosity got the better of me.
I haven’t seen the movie, but because of the iconic scene below,
I became familiar with it. The movie has a great following and it has been parodied a LOT of times. (Hello, Kokey~) That is why when I saw this novel at Booksale, I grabbed it instead of a Murder, She Wrote novel.
Steven Spielberg’s movie is said to be an iconic one depicting true friendship beyond great differences. Sadly, William Kotzwinkle’s book wasn’t successful in portraying that to me. Reading through it, ET just seems to be trying to make the best out of what the children can do for him to get home. There was little opportunity for real development to solidify this bond of friendship they were talking about.
It was more like a sense of novelty and self-fulfillment, rather than friendship. The children is simply lost in wonder that aliens really do exist (well, except for Gertie who sees ET more like a toy or a playmate) and Elliott feeling renewed that he has found a greater purpose in life: a heroic adventure that every other boy craves.
If only there were more events that could have developed the friendship between Elliott and ET, to convince me that they are friends not because they have a motive but because they just are. It was disappointing when you suddenly stumble on a page wherein ET was contemplating how Eliott is such a friend but I wasn’t moved by it at all. It’s either my heart is already made of stone or William Kotzwinkle failed to translate the movie well into a novel.
Thus, I gave it 2 stars…
I should have watched the Steven Spielberg movie instead to satisfy my curiosity…