Mary Reilly the movie, and the book The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are similar in many ways, but like the other 120+ films based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novella, it is also very different. Both Mary Reilly’s theme and story line are different from the book’s. To begin, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has different dynamic characters. The story is told mainly through the eyes of a no funny business lawyer named Gabriel John Utterson. Utterson sees a strange man known as Mr. Hyde; trample a girl in the streets of London late at night. Due to Utterson’s curiosity, he takes a closer look into the event. Utterson thinks an old friend of his, Dr. Jekyll, is being blackmailed by the same strange man he saw that night. From that point on, the story follows Utterson as he attempts to discover exactly why an upstanding citizen like Dr. Jekyll, is involved with the strange Mr. Hyde.
On the other hand Mary Reilly tells the story of Jekyll and Hyde from the point of view of a housemaid named Mary. Mary is a maid working for Dr. Jekyll in his house. Mary subconsciously thinks of the respect differences between herself and the upper-class Dr Jekyll, and is afraid of consequences that would occur if anyone caught her stepping out of place. Dr. Jekyll asks about the scars on Mary’s hands, but she feels she is unworthy of his conversation, and it isn’t her place to speak with Jekyll. He coaxes her into conversation and she tells him the story of the rats and her father. Dr. Jekyll is intrigued by her story, and has further conversation. Later after they part, the butler criticizes Mary for talking to Dr. Jekyll, and questions her, saying that it isn’t her place to be conversing or socializing with her “master”. Throughout the rest of the movie, Mary and Dr. Jekyll become closer, and talk frequently. Robert Louis Stevenson using Utterson as the narrator allows the story to have a more mysterious feel. Utterson is an outsider to the...
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