What's the Difference between My Cousin Rachel the Book and My Cousin Rachel the Movie?


My Cousin Rachel

Released: 2012
Author: Du Maurier, Daphne

My Cousin Rachel

Released: 2017
Director: Michell, Roger
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My Cousin Rachel Book vs Movie
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This Spoils the Ending
In the Book In the Movie
   When Phillip goes to Italy at the prompt of Ambrose’s letter, the first people he interacts with at Rachel’s villa are the grounds keeper and his wife. It is the groundskeeper that tells Phillip that Ambrose has passed away, and sends him to speak to Reinaldi, in Florence. Reinaldi is the the only person present at Rachel’s villa, and it is he who relays the news of Ambrose’s death.
   It is referenced that Ambrose has been spending every winter in Florence and returning in the late spring for some years due to his illness, and that although he was only in his mid forties, he already walked with a cane. The story suggests that Ambrose had only gone to Florence this once and never returned.
   Phillip tells the reader that Ambrose has been gone from Cornwall since he was around twenty-three, at least a year and a half has passed, and over a year has passed since the news that Ambrose has married Rachel. In the movie, it is made to seem as if mere months have passed since Ambrose left and has married. Ambrose leaves in Winter, is dead by the following Summer, and by Autumn, Rachel has arrived in Cornwall.
   At the end of the book Phillip recounts how Rachel has died and now he has lost the only other person in the world he has ever loved other than Ambrose. He states that he has his whole life before him but it will be empty, he intends never to marry or love again. Rachel’s death haunts him as he will now never know whether she did or didn’t kill Ambrose. In the movie, we see Phillip in a carriage sitting with Louise, they have married and are now parents. Phillip still suffers with terrible headaches and Louise looks on at him, we see doubt in her expression. Phillip’s closing lines are “Rachel, my torment”, echoing Ambrose’s letters.
   After Phillip has recovered from his feverish weeks in bed, he is under the illusion that he and Rachel married weeks before (in secret), and didn’t tell anyone. Rachel sets him straight, much to his confusion and devastation. Phillip doesn’t imagine Rachel and he have married, he becomes increasingly ill and decides she has been poisoning him.
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