An eight-part adaptation of Christos Tsiolkas’ novel, The Slap, began showing on UK screens two weeks ago on BBC4. As adaptations go, it is good so far, with a cast that includes the always brilliant Sophie Okenedo, as Aisha, Jonathan LaPaglia, as Hector, Melissa George (Angel in Home and Away), as Rosie, and Alex Dimitriades (dude in Heartbreak High), as Harry. The first episode, telling the story from Hector’s point of view, stays pretty faithful to the original novel. Hector is in the midst of his mid-life crisis, snorting coke and flirting with teenage girls. Though he is better looking on screen, than he is described in the book, so truth be told I was finding it hard to loathe him as much. The second episode which aired last night, added some extra details to Anouk’s story, like her mum being introduced as a supporting character, and the depiction of their relationship. Anouk is also a little bit softer than and emotional than she is in the book. But fortunately they didn’t quite do away with her ballsy, straight-talkingness, so all was not lost. Her showdown with her boss was classic, haven’t we all at some point wanted to tell a boss in no uncertain terms where to go.
One thing the makers have done, is to make Hugo slightly more sympathetic. He is less present, less annoying and less whiny on screen, though nonetheless still spoilt. Whether this was intentional or the child actor is simply not very good, I don’t know, but watching the scene where he gets slapped I felt a bit more sympathy for the young’un, than I did when reading the book. Perhaps because it’s more shocking to actually see a child being slapped, especially in the way it was played out on screen. Hugo’s parents Rosie and Gary are still just as annoying. I still maintain that they need a slap too. I hope it’s forthcoming.
Anyway it’s still early days, six more episodes to go. If you are watching the programme and want to make a comment on this blog, please feel free. If you’ve missed this, catch up on BBC iPlayer.
The Slap, BBC4 Thursdays at 10pm