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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 25 September, 2002, 13:51 GMT 14:51 UK
White Teeth
White Teeth

(Edited highlights of the panel's review)


WILLIAM FEAVER:
It's an enjoyable epic sweep type romp, a soap for our era, and I very much like to hear of Madness in one decade and Marc Bolan, and then on to Rap. I liked the spooling of the decades, and I liked the way in which topics are brought in, adroitly dealt with and dealt out. It's a great relief, after the terrible adaptation of 'Dance to Music of Time', to have something more to do with the modern world and contemporary society, even if it's a caricature.

BONNIE GREER:
I think the adapter did a very good job. This is a piece of literature and you can't put literature directly on to screen because it's about words. The adapter broke it open and made it into something else.

I thought it was the good old Channel 4 the way they used to do things, this lovely multicultural sweep. I really enjoyed it.

The cast was wonderful. But as I sat there, I thought, "Where have I seen this before?" Of course, this terrain, and this is what, unfortunately, the adaptation exposes, this terrain has been explored by Stephen Frears and Hanif Kureshi in 'My Beautiful Laundretteż. So we have actually been here before and I didn't see actually what this added to that. The book does, the novel does, but the adaptation doesn't. Even though it's wonderful, I still thought, "I have seen this better."

MARK LAWSON:
I thought the director, who some people disliked because the camera is frenetic and you are conscious of him there, he was trying to put a visual style to replace the prose style.

TIM LOTT:
It captured the energy of the book very well. I suspect it may be more successful than the book, artistically. Although I love Zadie Smith's work and I love the first third of White Teeth, it did tend to get a bit flabby after that beginning. In that sense, it's perhaps a blessing that you can cut it down to two episodes.

It's very well cast. I like the fact there aren't that many named actors in it. I always like that in a production. One can project the idea of the characters into the adaptation.

It's very brilliantly cut. It has great pace. I love the nostalgia of it. I love the music. It's one of the best adaptations.

This transcript was produced from the teletext subtitles that are generated live for Newsnight. It has been checked against the programme as broadcast, however Newsnight can accept no responsibility for any factual inaccuracies. We will be happy to correct serious errors.


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