Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A picture worth a ...?

I watched 'The Da Vinci Code' last week. Wish I hadn't. I'm saying this because this is the nth time that I've watched a movie adapted from a novel and though it's not surprising at all, it was a bit of a let-down that the movie did not do justice to the novel. That said, I guess it's in the very nature of some movies to fall short of expectations when it comes to recreating the same magic of its raw material. We all know that a novel offers much more in terms of imagination, characterisations, and narration; and a movie has to cover all this and more in just under 2 - 3 hours. Unfair, one might say. But still, it isn't like there haven't been movies that have been as successful as novels, if not more. I feel it's to do with what parts the director/screenplay writer decides to include and take out, aside from the main plot of the story. Cinematic liberties notwithstanding, some movies just fail to perk up and take the viewers by the b**** and rivet them to watch on. This is just a personal opinion, so please don't crucify me, but I felt Da Vinci Code was one of them. There was no magic, no feeling of mystery and intrigue that the novel had. There was no, as they say - soul.

Some movies I felt were as good, if not better than novels they were adapted from:

The God Father

The Color Purple
A
couple of John Grisham movies ( The Firm, Pelican Brief, The Rainmaker, A time to kill...And there on his novels became cookie cutters. So much so that whenever I read his later novels now, I imagine a hollywood star/actor in the lead characters)

The day of the jackal ( well not exactly, but it was gripping)

Devdas ( The old one, not the ne-ne-ne-new one)

Some Alistair Mclain movies (Where Eagles Dare, Force 10 from Navarone, Guns of Navarone)
The Jungle Book (Animated)

Get Shorty

Jackie Brown (Elmore Leonard's novel was called Rum Punch)

Any more....? (Am sure I don't remember all)

12 comments:

Prerona said...

what abt adaptation? from orchid thief - the book by susan somebody cant recall the name

Prerona said...

what abt adaptation? from orchid thief - the book by susan somebody cant recall the name

KJ said...

i wud LOVE reading books anytime to watching the movies....

:-)

KJ

Anonymous said...

Hehe...Spiderman 2 was better than any of his comics :-)

phatichar said...

pre: yeah..susan orlean. actually i'd watched adaptation long back...didn't realize, or didn't notice it was based on the book. haven't read the book, so can't really comment on it. The movie was good - a black comedy i think. Nicholas Cage was excellent as twin brothers...no?

KJ: yeah...tht's true most times. The novel is much more rewarding, coz we can use our imagination unbridled.

anon: oh yeah..spiderman 2. And also Batman Begins - that was better than any comic of his, and better than all the earlier movies too.

d4u said...

What a waste of an actor of Tom Hanks's calibre in the movie...absolutely below expectations

phatichar said...

deeps: hmmmm, now that you mention it...the presence of Tom Hanks surprisingly did little or nothing to elevate the movie from its poor structure. Ordinarily, movie stars fail to get into the skin of the characters, but TH was an exception I felt, coz of his portrayals in Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Cast Away, and subsequently in Terminal. These were the movies where I didn't for once feel I was watching TH the star, but hanks the character. Sadly, in Da Vinci that didn't happen. Well...nobody's perfect, eh?

d4u said...

Ya hes someone who plays any character to the hilt...but like u said i guess noone's perfect:)

The Smiling Girl said...

Ohyes.. thats exactly why I made a mental note not to watch the movies made on my fave novels after I saw Harry Potter -3... It was pathetic..
The book gives you so much more to imagine and picturize that the movie falls short in its lustre...
Can you believe it if I say that the Godfather of my imagination was lot more sexier, older, graceful and royal than Marlon Brando and thats exactly why I didnt like the movie much though I saw only a clipping from it?
But I must say I liked Al Pacino in the small clipping I saw though he was not as handsome as Mike in my imagination...:)

But Jungle Book is my all-time fave.. may be because I didnt read the novel...:)

Anonymous said...

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Anu Krishnan said...

I hate the movies refuse to pay attention to details..they can look like a 'hurried attempt',especially to someone who has read the original..