Now that’s an adage we have all heard right? Second time lucky in love, in a job, in a relationship…in a book…Aah well…yes, a book. I am sure all of us have come across books which failed to impress us, or books we struggled to finish and then that very book turns out to be what celluloid wonders are made of!
So influenced by the yet another hashtag doing the rounds on social media on best book adaptations, thought about giving it a twist to talk about book adaptations which in fact turned out better than the book…so here goes!
Cecelia Ahern’s love saga, P. S I Love You, had left me quite unimpressed. Not only does she kill off of the adorable Gerry right at the start, she then takes us on a never ending tale of Holly rediscovering herself and turning her life around. I am not sure if it’s the length or the writing style, I struggled to understand Holly a bit. Also the fact that a woman who is shattered and at her lowest would have the determination to hold onto to the package of letters and not just tear all of them open and read at one go was quite incomprehensible.
And then I happened to come across the movie, Aah! Hillary Swank and Gerard Butler’s Holly and Gerry were so heart-warming, yet normal and flawed. The change in the screenplay, where Holly receives the letter one by one….which pushes Holly into a journey of rediscovery and hope works very well for the story. I could never imagine a film starting off with the hero’s funeral would become one of the greatest love stories for me!
Jurassic Park wasn’t really something I did not like reading. It was a great read but let’s get real there is no way the book could compete with the spectacle that Jurassic Park, the movie, was. The movie with its superlative special effects literally breathes life into the book. Even the screenplay seemed tighter and the human characters better etched.
This would probably make you love me less, but I have not been able to make myself love Erich Segal. I have liked love story and I have liked Man, Woman and Child. But they didn’t move me as much, or leave an indelible mark. Cut to Masoom, adapted and indian-ised from Segal’s Man, Woman and Child. With an impressive cast, superlative performances and Shekhar Kapoor’s magic, this remains one of my favourite films, don’t think I can say that about the book though. Indu’s despair, DK’s torment, Rahul’s yearning, Rinky and Mini’s innocent candour make it one of the most heart-warming movies I have seen
While Die hard is an adaptation of Nothing Lasts forever by Roderick Thorp, there are more differences than similarities. In fact the movie turns out to be much sharper with better etched characters so much so that despite being an out of action movie, it keeps you invested in the character. Not only does the movie improve upon the character of John McClane by making him more human and relatable, it also gives us the iconic Hans Gruber, who isn’t half as colourful in the book.
Now this one might be tricky, since I had read the book in translation. People who have read the story in Bengali might have a different opinion, but I found that movie far more nuanced than the book. The book had left me unimpressed, which is rare in case of Tagore stories, however Ghare Baire, the movie remains one of the absolute favourites. When Ray meets Tagore what you get is pure magic, need I say more?
Silence of the Lambs – Because Anthony Hopkins PERIOD
The Marvel Cinematic Universe – The die-hard Marvel comic fans might go for my head, but I truly feel the MCU has done a phenomenal job with their films, case in point Iron Man, Black Panther, or the female characters for that matter and Thor maybe to some extent. The movies did a great job with their character progression.
3 Idiots – There of course is controversy around whether this book was adapted from Five Point Someone or not, however given the similarities, I would have to say the movie was scripted way better than the book.
Add to the list, tell me your favorite book adaptations which were even better than the books!
Heard to movie to book adaptation? coming soon…
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