Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book to Movie Adaptations

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Last weekend I spent in joyous solitude, watching movies that fed my lust for books. I started with the 2010 movie adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre followed by that of Jose Saramago’s Blindness then of Alex Garland’s The Beach. The gothic rendering of Jane Eyre placed me within the gloomy confines of that time and place and simply left me mesmerized. With the other two movies I was unsatisfied. The social underpinnings and absolute misery and degradation depicted in Saramago’s novel and the superficiality and consumerism in backpacker culture in Garland’s I found lacking in their respective cinematic re-renderings. 

Being the shameless literature nut that I am, it thrills me whenever a literary work gets transferred to the screen. The characters that otherwise only existed within the pages of a book or in my imagination are brought to life on film. Not entirely believing the adage that great literature makes terrible movies, I am fascinated with the intricacies of cinematic adaptation: how can a two-hour movie render the full complexity of a novel whose every page is replete with delightful details and nuanced insights? Its allure lies on whether or not the film stays true to the novel – its atmosphere, narrative contour, tonal shadings and internal coherence. 

Can something that has already found its definitive form be transported to another medium without getting diluted or turning into a travesty?


Anonymous said...

i read jurassic park but never saw the movie in its entirety.

Angeli said...

i had fun with both movie and film. hahah

A said...

What a great post Angeli.
I loved The Godfather (parts I and II) -- those movies did not disappoint.

Angeli said...

me too! but the third one was not that remarkable.

thank you, agnes. :)

Arti said...

Lovely post. I loved reading Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, and liked the movies too... Although I feel that movies can never replace the joys of reading the book!!
Have a beautiful week Angeli:)

Angeli said...

My week's been beautiful, Arti. Thank you.

I, too, enjoyed the Da Vinci Code, both movie and book. The writing style may not be that good, but the story is simply fascinating. :)

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