When the Book was better than the Movie

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(by VEENA PULAPAKA)

Books are the epitome of details, whereas movies give us an inkling into just what our imaginations might look like. No doubt movies show us how our imaginations can appear, but they can’t be compared to the power of the word which can set our creative minds on fire.

Earlier the popular notion about books went on as “Never judge a book by its cover”, and I know everyone is aware of it, but since the 1920’s the modern version of this notion is “Never judge a book by its movie”.

Here are cases when the book far outshone its cinematic counterpart.

1. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

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The book is set in the 19th century period, and follows the story of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet’s five unmarried daughters, of how their lives changed and how they dealt with different issues of upbringing, education, romance and marriage in the society when a Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy moved into their town.

Based on original book written by ‘Jane Austen’, there are many adaptations of this book but the one referred to here is the 2005 version.

The film directed by Joe Wright emphasizes on themes such as realism, romanticism and family. However, when compared to the original book this version doesn’t seem to reach the magical standards it has set. This film shows us the lives of one Miss Elizabeth Bennet and her elder sister Miss Jane Bennet who are romantically involved with Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley played by Kiera Knightley and Rosamund Pike, Matthew Macfayden and Simon Woods respectively. The many drastic changes in the movie can make any book lover detest watching the film. Changes can be seen from character personalities to the century the film is set in (18th century).

2. THE LUCKY ONE

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The Lucky One is a romance novel written by American writer ‘Nicholas Sparks’ in 2008. The book is based on the themes of fate and destiny. The story is about how a marine (Logan Thibault) comes across a photograph of a smiling girl (Beth Green) and life as he knows it changes and about the journey he takes to find that girl and what happens when he finally sets his eyes on her.

Directed by Scott Hicks the film a romantic drama was released in 2012 starring Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling as leads. The film focused on the romance between the leads whereas the book mentioned the importance of Beth’s ex-husband (Clayton), his family, Ben (Beth’s son) and Nana (Beth’s grandmother) as well.

Some major changes that brought down the film were, exclusion of the first chapter from the book, Clayton’s character being downplayed and also minimizing the role of Victor (Logan Thibault’s best friend). Overall, the movie couldn’t live up to the book’s grandeur and impact.

3. GULLIVER’S TRAVELS

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This book by Jonathan Swift was published around 1700’s, though there are many different adaptations of the book the present one being talked about is the 2010 film version. The tale of Lemuel Gulliver and his shipwrecked journey and how he found himself on the land of Lilliput and his journey back home is the story.

The 2010 film version however is a modern take on Gulliver’s journey directed by Rob Letterman and starring Jack Black as Gulliver. This film is limited only to the first two parts of the original book. Though the film has got a universal audience with the romantic comedy angle, it is difficult to understand who the film was actually being aimed at.

4. HARRY POTTER SERIES

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J.K Rowling’s seven books have become a household name be it through films or books.

The first two films were directed by Chris Colombus, the third by Alfonso Cuaron, the fourth by Mike Newell, and the remaining four by David Yates. Even though the films were wonderful hits across the world, they couldn’t fully depict the enchanting, alluring and magical world of Harry Potter. There were many situations that were downplayed like the role of Neville’s parents or who were the persons on the Mauderer’s maps or who Teddy Lupin is and so on. However, this could be due to the restrictive medium of cinema, as compared to the vast expansive scope of a book.

5. TWILIGHT SAGA

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The Twilight saga is a four series vampire-themed fantasy romance novel, written by American author Stephenie Meyer. It appealed to teenagers who are hungry for dark fantasy and romance novels.

It talks about the life of one Isabella Swan as she moves to Forks, Washington and falls in love with Edward Cullen a 104 year old vampire, and how her journey into the untold magical progresses and what she encounters is the story.

There are many facets of the story that are left out in the film adaptations such as Carlisle’s history, Alice and Bella’s friendship, jasper’s powers, Bella’s sleep talking and so on. These are the factors which make the books better than the films.

6. THE FOUNTAINHEAD

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The Fountainhead is considered among the foremost works on capitalism and individualism in the 20th century. Written in 1943, the book has sold over 6 million copies and the story of Howard Roark and his uncompromising morals have inspired generations to come.

However, the book was adapted into a film with disastrous results. In 1949, a film adaptation of the book, with Ayn Rand writing the screenplay herself, hit the screens. Starring Gary Cooper and Patricial Neal, the film sank without a trace. There have been reports that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie wish to remake the movie again, and readers of the book are eyeing the news with some suspicion.

 

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