I think, I can safely say that if you read Romance then you most likely watch it too, or is that just me? I love a chick flick there is nothing better than whiling away a Sunday afternoon, watching some light good-hearted Romanic fun. My personal favorites have to be; One Fine Day, You’ve Got Mail and Leap Year. But what about when the film producers decide to take one of our much-loved romantic books and turn them into a film or drama?
When I hear that a book, that I have read and enjoyed is being turned into a film, then I do at first get excited. I find it very interesting to see how the characters that I have come to love will look from the eyes of these directors/producers and all the other people who make up a film production team – Will the characters have that same charisma and charm that I love about them from the book? But then on the other hand I start thinking, that something that is so wonderfully vivid in my head is going to be ruined by these film makers, because obviously a two-hour long film cannot connect with me like the book did, or can it?
Personally speaking they don’t all work for me, once I have read the book I have already got an image of how the hero, moves, sounds and in some cases even smells like – yes, I know that’s weird! I have a vision of the scenery, the atmosphere and so on, that obviously cannot be translated to the screen. So when it comes to watching it on screen I think because I am already biased as to what I already know these books to be like, I’m like – That’s not my hero, he doesn’t look, talk or even move like my hero and I think that does mar what may be a very good film.
True, I have seen some really good book to film/dramas I adored Atonement and The Notebook was so emotional and then there is Sharpe, which is in another league of its own. Then there are those where I have watched the film first and then read the book, and in those cases its been the film that has won over.
For example I watched The Book Thief and since I have tried to read the book by Markus Zusak on many occasions and just can’t get into it as I already know what each character looked like, where the story goes and so on.
But there is a few, a very small few that have bridged the gap of what the “What is best, film or book” debate, these few and quite beautiful pieces of work have resonated with book lovers and movie goers alike. In these rare cases it doesn’t matter if you watch or read them, the story and characters are just so beautiful and thought-provoking. Its that what wins over again and again, not how you absorb the story, but the story its self.
The two that I think falls into this category has to be Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights, for me like a lot of women, there will only ever be one Mr Darcy, true it’s not the book version, but the drama version of Colin firth. I think this one has tested and won that argument over book or film and it does prove that if made right, with the perfect actors then you can take a book and put it on the screen.
Buts that’s just my opinion and I would love to hear other’s views on this. Do you watch the films or dramas of well loved books? And if so, do you think of them?
I have made my own list of my favorite books to screen, your more than welcome to add your views to my little debate.
1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
3. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
4. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
5. Atonement by Ian McEwan