You hear one of your favourite books is being made into a film. It’s a book that’s so iconic to you and holds a dear place in your heart for whatever reason so you’re probably going to be a bit apprehensive to see whether the film producers get the casting right, the setting right, whether the scenes play out the same as they did in your head or whether they’ll completely change the ending or leave important parts out. Those are all factors we think about when we hear a book we love is going to try and conquer the big screen but today I want to talk about why, in spite of all the apprehensions, I absolutely adore film adaptations.
Now, I’m not claiming I love every single film adaptation that has been made of every book I have loved – that would be impossible and there has been some pretty shocking ones that I’d rather not think about (It’s Kind of a Funny Story, for example – please, if anyone reading has read this book and seen the film and agrees that it was an abomination, please get in touch so we can discuss further). But on a whole, I generally love a good film adaptation and get extremely excited when I hear of a new one in production.
I understand that not everyone loves reading. As much as I can’t believe you wouldn’t love reading, I understand that some people don’t and having a film adaptation of a book allows non-readers to join you in a world which they weren’t previously privy to. Some people disagree but I think everyone should be entitled to enjoy something beautiful. It’s all art; whether it’s in the pages of a book or on the big screen in front of you. Art is there to be appreciated.
Another reasons why I tend to have a slightly different outlook to film adaptations is because I rarely go into a film version of a book with any high expectations. I know that a film is going to be different; that places aren’t going to look the same as they did in my head and that sections are going to be missed out for a variety of reasons. I like to see them as two separate entities rather than a carbon copy. I think carbon copies of one another would ruin the reading and/or viewing magic for either.
Here are some of my all-time favourite book to film adaptations:
The Perks of Being a Wallflower: This film was so true to the book and I believe they got the casting perfect. Although you can debate Emma Watson’s American accent, I think the cast choices made this film for me. Charlie is such a unique character in the book but Logan Lerman’s performance captures his character development spot on.
The Book Thief: My favourite book ever and believe it or not, I actually watched the film first before even reading it. There are a lot of missing parts to this film and if you’ve read or even looked at the book, you’ll understand. With over 500 pages of the most miniscule detail, it would have been extremely difficult. But the film portrays the basics of the story and most importantly, the emotions of the story, perfectly.
The Beach: There’s some subtle changes in this film to the book but none so that make it glaringly obvious. Both the book and the film capture the sights, sounds and sensations of this beautiful beach he visits and the trials and tribulations he faces on his travels. It’s a very deep story and I think both the book and the film portrays that.