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Just Lather Thats All

            Have you ever heard it said that if you've read the book the movie would be a disappointment? Such is the case of Just Lather, That's All. The written version is from the barber's point of view. The description of Torres by the barber enables you to see him as the barber sees him. Captain Torres is an executioner who deserves to die but not by his hand. You clearly understand the inner conflict with which the barber struggles. As he shaves him he describes his feelings for this man and his dilemma as to kill him or not. You can sense his frustration with his hatred for the Captain and his values for human life. As for Captain Torres's feelings, there is no clear indication of what they are. He is a murderer, but how does he feel about his actions? The movie gives you a completely different point of view. The captain does all the talking. The more he speaks the more you know him. When he talks about the things he has done it is as if he enjoyed them. The barber says very little and we have no real way of knowing what he is thinking. He appears nervous and fearful. The flashbacks used do give you some insight but not nearly as much as the written version. Torres dialogue in the movie is taunting, as though he is hoping for a reaction from the barber. In both the written version and movie the barber does not display any reaction to Torres. He is calm and goes about his task as he normally would.
             I enjoyed the written version rather than the movie. The barber's point of view gives you a more detailed image of the setting. You can almost feel the heat of the day, the texture of Torres's beard, and the smell of the soap. You cannot get a real sense of the mood from the movie. The imagery and symbolism used by Tellez gives you a clearer image of the atmosphere in the barbershop than the simple background music used in the movie. I felt I gained more information from the written version. Throughout the story I was never sure if the barber would kill him or not.

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