27 Nov 2015

THE BOOK VERSUS THE MOVIE.

Following a conversation with a young friend of mine in which we were discussing books versus their big screen adaptations we came to the conclusion that the pen is mightier than the sword the novel is almost always way better than the movie except, in my opinion, in these instances ...

Captain Corelli's Mandolin. Having read the 1994 novel by Louis de Bernieres after the 2001 film adaptation starring Nicholas Cage and Penelope Cruz it has to be said that on the whole the film version appealed to me more than the novel not that I rated either particularly highly.

Madame/Mrs Doubtfire. Another instance in which I watched the film starring the wonderful Robin Williams well before I read the book by Anne Fine. The novel was really enjoyable - somehow much deeper whilst, at the same time, somehow more frothy - BUT I have to say I liked the film better (largely because of Robin Williams?) which is quite surprising given that the film tended to rely on the cross dressing aspect for a lot of its humour as opposed to the book which, less humorous, dealt with what I felt were some pretty grown-up issues.

Stardust. I'm sorry, I know a lot of you are huge Neil Gaiman fans, but for me there was no comparison between the book and the 2007 film which I'd watched previously. A novel lacking in sparkle and much of the humour of its movie counterpart, give me the wonderful Robert De Niro as Captain Shakespeare any time.

Awakenings. A more human story, I felt the book a tad clinical at times. For me wonderful acting brought the characters to life in a way the novel didn't quite manage, the simulation of the catatonic behaviour typical of encephalitis lethargica incredibly moving.

The Hundred-Foot Journey. In an about change I actually read the book by Richard C. Morais before seeing the film. What should have been a veritable feast of a read I'm afraid I found it rather unfulfilling unlike the film which I enjoyed much more despite it missing out the whole of my favourite section of the book and thus one of my favourite characters.

What about you, any film(s) you preferred to their novel counterparts?


12 comments:

Suko said...

Tracy,

This is an interesting question. Hmm... let me think for a just a moment.

I am a huge fan of the classic movie, Gone With the Wind. I haven't read the book, mainly because the movie is so vivid in my memory, or more literally, in my "mind's eye".

Kelly said...

Hmmm... I might have to think on this awhile. I will say that the film version of Forrest Gump and the book are different enough that I thoroughly enjoyed both. I'm glad I saw the film first, or it might have disappointed me, but reading it after worked for me.

I can think of a few films I've seen that I hesitate to ever read the book, just because I enjoyed them so much. (Gone With the Wind and Life of Pi come to mind)

Brian Joseph said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian Joseph said...

I tend to think of books and films as different art forms and sometimes I think comparisons do not really work between them.

With that I think that great and very good novels often yield disappointing films. I actually think that mediocre books sometimes translate into very good films. At least for me, the lack of depth in some books does not hurt a film as much as it does literature. This is how I feel about the Dan Brown books and the films that are based upon them.

Natasha Hill said...

I definitely agree - while I generally enjoy film adaptations, the books will always hold the magic for me as there's so much more detail to them! - Tasha

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I don't know! There are so many movies I've seen based on books but I've never actually read the book - so I'm sure if I did, I'd have a ready answer. haha

Stephanie Faris said...

I was trying to think of an instance and I just couldn't...it's often not so much that Hollywood waters down a book (they do) as that the experience if reading a book is such an emotional connection, that feeling can't be duplicated on screen. I remember thinking I liked the way they cleaned up things in the film version of The Firm, but even with that, I felt the experience of reading the book was so much more powerful.

Nikki-ann said...

I hadn't realised there was a book to Mrs Doubtfire! I don't think I'll read it though, because I really enjoyed the film with Robin Williams's spectacular performance.

If I've read the book then I try not to watch the film (and visa-versa). However, I read The Book Thief and saw the film a few years later and thoroughly enjoyed both (even with the differences).

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

Hmmm- for the ones listed here I have only either read the book or seen the movie, not both. I do tend to like the book better, except The Wizard of Oz. I liked the book, but the movie was more magnificent for me. :)

Literary Feline said...

That's good to know about The Hundred-Foot Journey. I have to agree with you about the book--which is partly why I haven't seen the movie yet. I am glad to hear you liked it though.

Gina R said...

Only one that comes to mind immediately is Jurassic Park...the book was too technical at parts. I could probably have made a dinosaur myself after reading it.

Karen Alderman said...

I can barely watch movies based on books I've read. It's always so disappointing. I'm not expecting it to be exactly the same but most lose the emotional impact because they care more about casting pretty actors than plot.

Karen @For What It's Worth