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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Let's talk about: From Books to Big Screen

I love great stories and I am more than happy when I hear that one of my favorite books is being turned into a movie. Yes, like most of you I am a little scared that they will be able to capture and recreate the emotions I felt when reading the book.

The last one I saw was Harry Potter and just like with the book, I cried and cried. Was it as good as the book? No, not in my opinion. Was it a good adaptation  Yes, I believe it was. I am sad that it was the end of a great series and I am no longer looking forward to the next Harry Potter movie that will come out next year. :(

But alas there will be other great series... I hope.

Since HP7 made me reflect on other book to big screen adaptations here are my rambling thoughts. Hope you enjoy!

Growing up I was not a dedicated reader. Yes, I know sad but true. I did however enjoy watching movies and that lead me to reading a few books. Let's begin with my childhood favorites. I loved the Secret Garden and The Little Princess so when I discovered that these were based on books I went to my local library and read them and realized that they are better than the movies.

That was how I discovered the joy of reading. Thanks to movie adaptations. The movies create exposure and convert many to readers. I have heard many people who say that they read the book after loving the movie and realizing that the book was even better. Example: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. There were many teens and not teens that after hearing all the hype decided to pick up the book.

List of some of my favorite book to film adaptation (not in any particular order):

1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
2. Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
3. Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffeneger
4. The Notebook by Nicholas Spark
5. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
6. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
7. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson

Why these are some of my favorites and What is needed for a good adaptation according to me:

The movie needs to stay true to the story and the main message. Why change it? If it is a best seller as a book why rewrite and make all the loyal fans angry. I understand that there are money and time constraints but if it is an important part of the story I would rather they not venture into it than they make a horrible movie.

The characters must match the ones in the book. It's not just about looks but about the actor being able to portray the character correctly. I must like/hate them just like I did in the book. They must be able to be funny, clumsy, arrogant, etc... just like the character they are portraying.

The overall mood of the book needs to be captured in the movie. If the book made me laugh and cry, I expect the same from the movie.

These sound like common sense but there are so many movies that fail to this. Hopefully, they will learn and future adaptations will be magnificent.

I am really looking forward to The Hunger Games and City of Bones and hope they do a great job. *crossing fingers*

What are your favorite book to film adaptations? Are you looking forward to any upcoming film adaptation?


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