I don’t know a huge amount about the book, but it is clear that the approach of this film is a film crew making a film about an “unfilmable book.” Winterbottom chose to make a film about the making of a Tristram Shandy movie, instead of a straightforward adaptation, perhaps for the reason that it was considered unadaptable. This is film in a sense could fall under the documentary column in a sense with all the behind the scenes.
The film opens with the behind the scenes of actors getting ready, then shifts to the narration by Tristram Shandy of his life starting at birth. We never get beyond hearing about his birth due to what appears to be distractions. The narrator keeps trying to tell his story, but it keeps getting put aside. I found that the novel is similar in that Tristram, isn’t even born until the book is more than half over.
Jennie says “‘Fear Eats The Soul,’ there’s more truth in that title than most whole films.” For some reason, after she said that I had to Google the movie. Fear eats the soul, was originally a German movie, which translated to Fear consumes the soul. Could this entire adaptation be about a characters fear? Fear of not pleasing his wife and family duties in present life, and fear of his past life.
This adaptation was indeed very different from the last adaptation movie we saw. The opportunity to see the filming and development of the film from the behind the scenes aspect was rather interesting.