Wednesday, 11 July 2012
YA Highway: Film better than book?
YA Highway today see here is the great topic: where has the film been better than the book?
This is a difficult question because like many of us, if I have read the book first and loved it, then I never feel the film has lived up because it doesn't match the picture in my head.
Remains of the Day is a classic example of this; considered to be a brilliant film by many but I love the book, I studied it before I watched the film, and for me nothing can match up to the deliciousness of that unreliable narrator unravelling through the beauty of Kazuo Ishiguro's prose.
Sometimes I do not think a film is as good, but I understand why they made the choices they did. The Beach is an example of this: it’s a long novel, too long to fit everything in so where they rolled two characters into one for example, I understand why.
The Hunger Games, I do not love *quite* as much as the book, but I thought they did a very good job, possibly aided by input from Suzanne herself. I thought they captured the key moments, the feel, I didn’t feel overly ‘let down’ by any of their decisions. It is missing, as most films, that filter of being so closely in Katniss’s brain and some nuances get lost that way (how much Katniss’s feelings for Peeta may be ‘played up’ for the cameras I think gets lost somewhat in the film). But overall they did a good job; I felt pleased.
But a better job? No.
One film which does spring to mind is Twilight. I prefer the movie: don’t hate me Twilight lovers! I am not saying I didn't enjoy the book, I did.
However I didn't love it oh my goodness don't touch it, like I did the Hunger Games, so I was possibly more open minded going into the film. I am talking about the original film of the original book here.
I also think the original film captures the foreboding feeling of the novel, and it’s stylistically and beautifully directed by Catherine Hardwicke. They also take a long book and speed up the plot, adding tension with the extra wee bits of the evil Vamps on their way. I enjoy some of the small moments they add in (the view Edward shows Bella, the reading minds bit in restaurant I don’t remember from the book). I feel these moments add to the plot and characters, rather than being pushed in for no reason. I feel like they made good, considered changes.
What do you think? What would you pick? Do you disagree? Examples of where you understand the changes even if you didn’t love them?