However, it is an embarrassing and pathetic film that lacks detail that is contained in the book. The director should have changed the name of the film because it does not resemble the book at all. The book has a wonderful story line, characters, and a complex plot, none of which exist in the film. The film starts out with flashes of real newspaper scrolls of very significant people that were represented in the book quite often. Yet in the film, the viewer would never or rarely see these characters. The next scene tried to give the viewer suspense by showing ballroom dancing but was insignificant. The book contained an in-depth portrayal while the film was superficial. .
The characters are very important in the novel while the film was only based on one person. The film expressed the novel through Coalhouse Walker's eyes. It was not only about a black man fighting for his dignity but one man fed up with the world. Many historical figures were left out, possibly because Coalhouse never encountered them. In the film Houdini (for the most part) was left out, the labor riots that rushed Tateh's journey to Philadelphia, Nesbit's encounter with Emma Goldman, the meeting between J.P. Morgan and Henry Ford and so much more. The characters personalities were also different from the book such as; father is more of a weak character but in film he was concerned about brother, the little boy doesn't grow up in the film, and mother is stronger in the book because father goes to the North Pole. Brother's character was more outspoken in the film perhaps in an attempt to impress Evelyn. In the film, he was much more obsessed, looked out after, overprotective, cared about her more, and felt she was his responsibility. For example, he was very worried why everyone was being nice to her when she was drunk. Rather, in the novel their relationship was more physical. Harry Thaw seemed to be extremely mad in the film however the book did not give that impression.