A prominent critic opined that in writing Lord of the Flies, William Golding created merely a situation, not a novel. Well, to be sure, Peter Brook‘s film adaptation of the Golding book (from 1963) is not a very novelistic movie and doesn’t have to be. Rather it’s an opus of visual potency. The problem, however, is that it isn’t very well directed. Brook under-emphasizes important points and fails to create a good narrative flow. The young male actors in Flies play schoolboys marooned on an island who become foolish and vengeful brutes, but the performers seem lost, their acting unfocused. The killing of a boy named Simon (Tom Gaman) is ugly but clumsy. The blame falls on Brook. Would that the Francois Truffaut who directed The 400 Blows had made this film.