While I’m also not familiar with the book, I thought it was interesting that the film showed the process of filmmaking and of adaptation with a variety of figures /aspects of filmmaking in constant struggle. Specifically the actor’s world appears to be a major focus with Steve Coogan as the main storyline. How might the actor choose to adapt a character (the whole shoe thing) or a director push for a character to be played? I found it comical that Coogan’s suggestions/comments seemed to be based on what the assistant Jenny said who was extremely knowledgeable about film and had read Tristam Shandy. I thought it was interesting that the film also juxtaposed Tristam Shandy’s father/the story of Tristam’s birth with Steve Coogan’s experience filming on set with a visiting wife and young baby of his own. Was this the same baby acting (or supposed to look that way)? In addition, it highlighted the difficulty that films experience with budget/producers and with that the struggle of many minds coming together to make an adaptation that feels “right”. The questioning of the battle scene’s re-filming, placement, and overall need seems to serve as a point of contingency for everyone. One woman who I believe was the costume designer was even seen crying presumably out of frustration in an early look at this scene, and its absence is questioned again at the final screening.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I took the film ending to expose that the entire film-within-a- film is also within the overall film (does that make sense?). Basically, being a film within a film a second time. Steve Coogan and Kelly Macdonald say an awkward goodbye, him noting, “I thought you were wonderful by the way”. It seems the two are merely acquaintances and this final screening is of the movie we just watched. She later adds in the hallway celebration, “I always forget how short I am”. Clearly, she must have been shown on screen, as the movie we just watched played for them. In addition, Rob Brydon notes, his Al Pacino impression “in the car scene” and Gillian Anderson is annoyed that she spent two weeks filming only to see a small portion of herself on screen. I wonder what purpose this serves for the adaptation and the commentary on the process of adaptation as a whole. Why should it be revealed to be wrapped up in the larger mockumentary film? If my take on it is correct, than the producers still wondering why the battle scene is missing happens in reference to the mockumentary film that we saw for most of the film. Even then, it is considered important to show the actual scene. With the earlier screening, someone notes that the battle scene is not meant to be funny but as a real battle scene. Coogan points out it could be comedic due to the cheap budget look (and never like Braveheart), yet the answer to why it is not included in the final cut is because it wasn’t funny. I also found this telling of the extra layer to the film-within-a- film at the end.