In my opinion, the book will always fare better than the film adaptation, but I am willing to make a few exceptions. I’m more of a reader than a film watcher, consistently buying books online or in stores, but when it comes to seeing my favourite books up on the big screen I can’t help but be taken in. I want to see the characters I love in real life and have it all played out for me but, unfortunately, I usually go home disappointed. Like I said though, there are a few book-to-film conversions I’m impressed with.
The Lord of the Rings
Ok, even if you haven’t read J. R. R. Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ you’ve got to admit that the films are a little bit special. When the first one came out (‘The Fellowship of the Ring’) I was halfway through the second book, ‘The Two Towers’ and was determined not to watch the film until I’d reached the end of the third book, ‘The Return of the King’. Obviously, that didn’t work and I went straight to the cinema to see it.
All I can say is that the films don’t follow the books exactly, but they are absolutely amazing. These aren’t exactly kids books yet Peter Jackson really made them more accessible for all ages. You really couldn’t directly transfer the books onto the screen anyway; you’d be sat in the cinema for days rather than hours. Peter Jackson took three of the most incredible fantasy books of our time and turned them into three of the best fantasy films – not a mean feat and so definitely worth the hype.
The Green Mile
I’m a huge Stephen King fan and I’ll read anything of his that I can get my hands on, but probably one of my favourite King books is ‘The Green Mile’. As a writer, Stephen King is a beautiful storyteller and I think that’s what makes him so readable, but the film of ‘The Green Mile’ also encapsulates this.
The film was actually based on six novels that combined into one full cohesive story
The film is riveting and works so well on screen because it’s just a damn good story. It helps that they managed to garner a superb cast as well though. Again, a lot was taken out and there were some small changes to the storyline, but all in all I thought it was an excellent book-to-film conversion.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Parts 1 and 2
Now, you’ll notice that I haven’t included the other six films in this section, and that’s because I personally thought they weren’t all that hot. I thought too much was taken out when they were transferred to film and I only barely understood what was going on because I’d read the books.
I grew up with Harry Potter and it’s still one of my favourite book series – I can remember saving up pocket money in the run-up to the release of ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ and being heartbroken when I was still a few pounds short (my Dad took pity on me and bought it for me anyway), so when I heard they were turning HP into films I was beside myself with excitement.
This man is the stuff of nightmares… I think it’s the nose… or lack of.
The first six films were disappointing, but the last two – my god, I turned into such a fangirl. They got it perfect, and I mean perfect! I went to see it with my boyfriend, who’s never really understood the Potter-craze, and I got the impression that he thought I was having a psychotic break. I’m on the verge of a full Potter meltdown again, so I’ll stop while I’m ahead.