Many films are adapted from novels. Some of the biggest franchises are taken straight from a series of books and with the popularity of Marvel and DC there are also an increasing amount that started life in comic book. Some of the film adaptations are great and some are awful, if you are a fan of the book, the movie can either ruin it for you or enhance it. I wanted to read some books lately that had been made into films to see whether I would put them under the love/hate category, here are some that I read where I actually really enjoyed the cinematic version as well;
Gone Girl is quite a slow read, it takes quite a while to get into the second section of the book where all the action happens and where you realise that Amazing Amy is actually a psychopath. So what varies in the film to the book? For a start there are quite a few characters that are in the book that are missed out from the film. There are quite a few characters in the book that have very small parts and it does make sense that others can do it in the film instead. There are some other things that happen in the book that make Amy even more psychopathic, one of those being that in another way to set Nick up against his will she poisoned herself and kept the sick as evidence. This was left out from the film, I presume for timing constraints but the film doesn’t suffer for it.
The Lovely Bones
As the narrator of the book is actually dead looking down on her family willing them to solve her death, I was quite interested to watch the film and see how they were going to do this. The film portrayed it well. Visually it looked good, I was worried that it may look too cheesy and very cartoon ghost style like but it didn’t. The narration helped the audience to understand what was going on and also helped the story flow very well both when you see Susie looking down on her family and when you are actually in amongst her family. It needed this as the story is told in the first person. The town is actually as I imagined it and I thought Stanley Tucci played the role of George Harvey very well and was particularly chilling. Saoirse Ronan is absolutely brilliant in the main role of Susie Salmon too.
If you have read the book then of course when you watch the film you know the massive twist that is about to happen. That doesn’t stop the film from being brilliant though. Leonardo DiCaprio for me in this film was superb and a joy to watch on the screen. Mark Ruffalo cast as his partner was perfect. The two of them on screen worked so well. The great thing about this film too was that it didn’t stray from the book and the scenes and locations really captured the darkness and eeriness of the book. If anything this film just enhanced the imagination I had whilst reading. The book is a great read and the film is a great watch, if you do both then you just get double the fun.
There are of course, some films made from books that aren’t always as good. Here are some that I have read and then not enjoyed the films:
The Twilight Saga
The first film is the main one for me. It is awful. It is not the same as the book at all. There are scenes that are added that don’t need to be and there is content that just isn’t mentioned in the book such as Edward running up trees. It’s not that visually appealing for me either, whereas the books are so descriptive. The Director was changed after this film and the other films did get a bit better and were more true to the book. The last film did add an extra scene where there were predicted deaths that didn’t actually happen. I must admit I did like that, it added something that the book didn’t have and needed and made the film a bit of a shocker but all in all the books win for me.
Harry Potter Series
I don’t think they are bad films, I understand why people love them and enjoy them. There are some amazing actors/actresses involved (some not) but if you have read the books, there is so much that they leave out from the films. This is understandable due to budgeting and due to time restraints but when the books are as descriptive as they are it can be highly disappointing. The main thing about reading Harry Potter books is that they create a world that you escape to and everything is described vividly. The films can then shatter that world you have created. They are good films but the books are just so much better.
Fifty Shades of Grey
I must be honest, the book isn’t that amazing either. It isn’t that well written and everything is a bit rushed as the author is keen to get to one sex scene to the next without any kind of plot in between (well there is a small plot, very similar to Twilight without vampires). The film just didn’t make the book better. Due to classifications and censorship there was only so far the film could go and although they handled it well, the rest of the scenes just weren’t that good. The acting was poor and the dialogue was lifted straight from the book and as that wasn’t that well written it just didn’t improve things. Overall, not a great experience for either the book or the film.