The Secret Scripture tells the story of a woman who kept a diary during her extended stay at a mental hospital.
It’s no surprise that this is a film that holds a negative light — it could be considered a historical romance at its cheesiest, despite the performances. Rooney Mara is a brilliant actress, when given the right role to shine, an it was nice to see Theo James in something else than the Divergent films and Underworld: Blood Wars as the macho action star. However, in saying this, it blows any Nicholas Sparks novel to film translation. You’d much rather see something like this than drift off into sleep into another, almost generic, Sparks adaption.
‘The Secret Scripture’ is a film with a lot to say but as it delves deeper and deeper into the film, it really struggles to find a way to say it. Even with the multiple attempts the film tries to come across fails to really get across what it wants. Director Jim Sheridan (In The Name of the Father, My Left Foot, In America) lacks the subtly of his previous work, unable to find any stable footing to bring across the story despite the wonderful performances he helps draw out of the actors.
The adaption of The Secret Scripture can be seen as the classic case of an adaption from a novel to a film where the themes are lost in translation. It’s a film that looks nice on the outside but ultimately it’s foundation is on rocky ground. The more time spent with the film, the more you’ll see past the facade it holds. In the end, the ‘big reveal’ has hardly so.