September 28, 2011

In my view...

With Hollywood churning out so many modern adaptations of both new and classic novels, it is commonly debated whether the movies can ever match the original. What crucial scenes are missing? Does the lead actor pull-off the much-loved character? Where have the subplots merged together or disappeared completely?

Filmmakers have many tools and techniques at their disposal – from locations and lighting, to actors, directors, props and special effects – and yet it is impossible for a film to completely and faithfully recreate a novel. 

A good book can conjure entire worlds in the mind of the reader. With only the sequences of words on a page, authors can create characters, scenes and stories that are limited only by human imagination, and are thus limitless.

I admit, I am always excited when one of my favourite books is being adapted to film; I rush out and I watch it straight away. But I always expect the book to be better.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy some modern adaptations. Actually, I enjoy many of them – in particular, I most enjoy the movies that allow me to once again become immersed in the story; to become reacquainted with the characters that I know so well; and, for just two short hours, to relive the experience of reading the book.

In some cases, I have enjoyed the movie so much that it has changed the way that I perceive the original. In my mind, Henry DeTamble now looks like Eric Bana, and Mr Rochester doesn’t necessarily have to dress up as the gypsy… But in my heart, when I think of the story and where my love for it was set, I cannot look past the pages of the book where it began.

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