Aug 12, 2013

30 Day Challenge: Day 19

Day 19: Favorite Book Turned into a Film

“It is true that those we meet can change us, sometimes so profoundly that we are not the same afterwards, even unto our names.” 

Recently, I stumbled upon a PostSecret letter that read: "I like most film adaptations." Clever, I thought! A pretty mundane, silly thing to worry about, but, still, I get why whoever submitted the secret felt the need to cover it up. I wouldn't be caught dead telling my bookish friends that I actually enjoy most film adaptations, even if they're nothing like the book.



Guess I outed myself there a little bit.

Okay, yes, it's true, I don't think most film adaptations of books are that bad. Some--a select few--are actually better than their book counterparts.

I digress, this isn't a blog about the merit a film does to a book, but rather a book that is fantastic and just also happens to be movie.

My choice for today is Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Pi is not one of my most treasured books, nor is it my favorite by Martel, but there is such a profoundness to this Man Booker winner that lingers with you long after the final pages are turned. Ten years after its release in 2002, I finally picked this up last year, plopped down, and read it in roughly 3 sittings. Martel has such an analytical voice, at times, that the magical realism to his writing seems so strange from a few steps back. Masterfully, Martel weaves the life of zookeeper's son with a tragic shipwreck, plenty of wildlife, and a stunning conclusion into an amazing piece of literature. 

"The book is always better." That's almost always true (recall Josh's Day 18 post about the musical of Wicked being better than the book). Like many, I've compared how close a movie was to the actual book, but I've never really thought about, nor picked, a favorite book turned into a movie. 

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (the original foreign movies though) by Stieg Larsson is a phenomenal book with so much intrigue. The themes and plots presented in the book have an unmatched humanity to them that depict a violence people would prefer not to believe happens, and the sole desire for survival. While the book is definitely a hard one for many to approach due to the length and sometimes dry, calculating descriptions, the movie removes most of that and focus on the actions that occur from these descriptions.

As with any movie of course, you lose a lot of the main themes when a book is so full of descriptive commentary, but the action, the actors, and the way the plots were pulled together in the movie has easily made it my favorite book turned into movie. (Plus I'm kind of a sucker for subtitled movies.)


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