Normal People: Some relationships stick with you forever, no matter where life may take you
It’s a perfectly devastating portrayal of a millennial romance.
It’s not often that a film or TV adaptation of a novel is completely spot on or completely satisfying. Yet Sally Rooney’s, Normal People originally published in 2018, and recently adapted for the screen is pretty spot on. In terms of accurate adaptation, the Hulu/BBC series uses actual scenes and clips of dialogues from the novel itself. This authentic adaptation has not only elevated fans of the novel but brought in a new wave of fans as well.
Normal People follows Marianne Sheridan (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Connell Waldron (Paul Mescal) in the small rural town of Sligo where they first meet through school. Despite being from two very different worlds — Marianne lives in a mansion where Connell’s mother is a cleaner — the two form an indescribable bond. This bond carries through as the pair heads to Trinity College in Dublin and they both navigate the world of being an adult. It’s a perfectly devastating portrayal of a millennial romance.
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At the core of this story is this initial relationship — the way Marianne and Connell gravitate towards each other like magnets throughout their lives. The novel and adaptation both show the transformative power of a first love, which is exactly what makes audiences fall as hard and fast as both of them do. What makes this story so addicting is not the steamy aspects of the relationship, but the shining moments of intimacy and true understanding shared between Marianne and Connell. “Life offers up these moments of joy despite everything,” Sally Rooney reminds us in the novel.
While there are some minor changes to specific moments or dialogue, the scenes from the tv adaptation hit as hard as they do in the novel. No spoilers, of course, but the ending of the 12-part Hulu/BBC series is just as heart-wrenching, yet oddly satisfying, as the novel ends. Accuracy is a given, but above all, the key take away from Normal People is that some relationships stick with you forever, no matter where life may take you.