Movies better than their books?


☞ Since the last post was on Cloud Atlas, I thought we should touch on the issue of whether movies can be better than their books. The view that a movie is better than its book, or indeed — as is more commonly the case — the book is better than its movie, may result in controversy. The following review and listing of movies that the writer regards as better than their books is certainly debatable. It begins with the controversial claim that the movie version of Cloud Atlas is better than its book: this important claims occupies this extract. But is it really better? This is the way, for example, that the movie critic David Edelstein views the movie version: “Do you want the true-true? I think the film of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas is dumb-dumb.” There are other more positive evaluations of the movie versions that are debatable (found in the original article of the extract below): A Clockwork OrangeFight Club and Life of Pi. I agree however, with the evaluation of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which incidentally, can be compared to Salman Rushdie’s more positive evaluation of the movie version.

“As the saying goes, “Books are always better than the movie.” But with books like “Cloud Atlas” redefining story-telling on screen, we beg to differ. Here are some reasons why a film like “Cloud Atlas” could even give its source material a run for its money.

Why it’s better than the book: We’re not saying the book was worse. In fact, the story itself is wonderfully enchanting, but with several different storylines to keep track of in the book it will certainly take a while for some readers to understand. British author David Mitchell penned the post-apocalyptic novel in 2004. The story’s synopsis describes itself as “An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.” It may be complicated and far-fetched, but for a feature film to be able to capture the book’s essence (albeit in a three hour long film) is a talent. Book fans won’t admit it, but sometimes, to watch a film that came from a book you loved through in a film is by far better than a single person’s imagination.

Who is in it: Big Hollywood stars like Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Hugh Grant are some of the few who star in this epic feature. Unlike your usual Hollywood films, in “Cloud Atlas”, one actor is given the roles of various characters as the film shifts between narratives.

There you have it. With “Cloud Atlas” coming soon to local theatres, we look into some of the best films so far that are, in fact, better than the books.”

Read more… 


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