Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Film Adaptations

I know that I keep going on about the 'Twilight Saga' on the blog, but after some persuasion from my readers this afternoon, I decided to watch 'New Moon', an adaptation of the second novel within the series.

Whilst I found 'New Moon' mildly entertaining (I personally thought that the first film 'Twilight' was a pile of rubbish), I couldn't help but feel frustrated at times. Why? Well, even though the film stuck quite closely to the novel, there were a few changes that made me want to shout 'But that wasn't in the book'!!! There were 2 additional fight scenes (put in for more excitement no doubt), event sequences changes/locations and even silly little things, like the change of title of the film which Bella, Mike and Jacob go and see at the cinema.

I know that I might sound a bit pedantic, but stuff like this makes watching films adapted from novels not as enjoyable because half the time, they don't translate as well on screen.

I think another reason that makes watching 'book films' annoying is that I find, that they never quite match what is in my imagination. When I read a book for example 'Twilight', my imagination fixes how certain characters look, act and sound. The 'Edward' and 'Bella' that are being represented in the films, aren't right in my opinion, because they aren't the 'Edward' and 'Bella' that has been formed in my head by the author. So when film makers try and bring books to life, they have to match the pictures in the mind and more than often, they never match it in my opinion.

In some ways, the imagination is much more powerful than the filmmakers because the imagination can create and intensify drama or horror, for example, stories such as 'Misery' by Stephen King. Having read the novel and watched the film adaptation, I felt that the book is a lot scarier than the film, because of the tension that my imagination created. At the end for example, the atmosphere and events which appeared in my head, whilst reading the words actually made me gasp in surprise, where as the film had little effect.

Now I'm not saying that film adaptations aren't good, I prefer the film adaptations of 'Lord of the Rings'and 'Captain Correlli's Mandolin' to the novels, but maybe, by film makers changing plots and characters within novels, isn't that in some way defacing a writer's work(even though I know that a writer consents to a film maker using their work) work, what do you think? Or do you think that film adaptations enhance what is contained within a novel? What are your favourite adaptations?


  1. I always, always prefer the book. The film that I thought became close to the essence of the book was Brokeback Mountain.

    Captain Correlli's Mandolin, for me, did not encapsulate the content and emotions within the book. Not that the book was an easy read, but it shared so much more than the film and had many more factions to it. For this reason, it did not 'translate' into film.

  2. I agree. I usually prefer the book to the movie. The only exception in my case (well, three if you count them separately) is the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

  3. oh that's a difficult question...i think until now my favorite adaptations are The Age of Innocence and Love in Time of Cholera...

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