Arts & Culture Wednesday: Adaptations

It is common knowledge that many of the movies that appear on our cinema screens were adapted from a novel.

Since cinema began books have provided ready-made material for film crews to bring to life on the big screen allowing the readers imagination of what everything in the novel should look like to become a reality.

This is not always a good thing.

Some of the most captivating books ever written have been turned into mediocre movies that make you wish you were brave enough to ask for refunds at the cinema and that you would never buy on DVD.

It has gotten to the point that when a movie adaptation of one of my favourite books comes to the cinema I begin to get scared.

With the exception of The Notebook every Nicholas Sparks book that has been turned into a film has been an average chick flick. The films never manage to replicate the raw emotion that Sparks captures so well in his writing.

Love in the Time of Cholera is undoubtedly one of my favourite books and in my opinion one of the most beautiful books ever written. Yet the film seems to make it seedy in some ways and takes away from the elegance of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s writing.

The main culprit in poor movie adaptations has to be the classics. The majority of classic novels have been made into films time and time again and usually among the clutter of bad adaptations you find one that manages to do the novel justice.

However the clutter itself provides an endless slaughter of the literary greats.

It is not always clear why films, on occasion, do not do novels justice. Sometimes it is purely the fault of the film crew: the poor vision of the scriptwriter, director, actor and so on.

Or sometimes it is possible that the writing of the author is just so beautifully done that it cannot be truly captured by images, no matter how skilful the images are.


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