During the past few years, more and more books are being made into movies. This is often a controversial topic in the book community as it arises many questions amongst us; will they capture the message the book conveys? Will they cast the right people? Will they stay true to the book? Often enough, many people are left disappointed. Now this may be because it's impossible for film creators to please everyone, or because the creators often misinterpret the book. I believe it's usually a mixture of the two.
However, rather than weighing out the bad book to movie adaptations, I thought I'd write a post on my favourite. In this post, I'm judging these movies on the casting of characters, the loyalty the film has to the book, and my enjoyment. I have not read all the books of these films, so perhaps this may be an inaccurate judgement. However, all the books have been attempted to be read. So, here are my top 5 book to movie adaptations... in no particular order as I like them for different reasons.
1. The Harry Potter Saga
It comes to no surprise that this series is a favourite of mine. Though I have not read the entire series (yet), I have read the first two so can get a sense of all the characters. First of all, the casting for this series is excellent. I don't know whether it be a fluke or superb casting directors who managed to find actors who could portray characters for 10 years perfectly with the development of themselves and their roles.
Only two books in I have deep connections and protectiveness over Harry, Ron and Hermione. Though I'm just too young to have read all the books and seen the movies as they had come out, it still feel as if their story will live on with me as it will (hopefully) for future generations.
One of my favourite things about this series is how the movies matured and darkened over the years as the books did, perfectly capturing the fate of Harry and the inevitable battle of the Dark Lord. However this change only strengthened the relationship between the audience and the characters.
I don't know how many times I've watched this series; too many to count. Whenever I'm feeling down or just as a family tradition at Christmas time, these movies always entertain me. As I haven't read all the books, I don't know how accurate they are, but I don't think they have misinterpreted the story and the world that J.K. Rowling created, which is a success in itself.
2. Love, Rosie
I've done a full review of Love, Rosie (you can find it here), the film adaptation of the book Where the Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern so I won't ramble. The film isn't completely accurate to the book but for me, it doesn't matter. It captured perfectly the relationship and the struggle between protagonists Rosie and Alex.
As a fan of Lily Collins and Sam Claflin, I was incredibly happy to learn of their casting as was really excited to see how they played the characters I'd gotten to know and love from the book. Though Lily hasn't appeared in many good films before in my opinion, I loved her in one of my all time favourite movies Stuck In Love and hoped she would bring her powerful yet adorable qualities to this movie. I think she did, and managed to put on a believable English accent as well. Sam Claflin as always was faultless and brought charm and humour to the movie but could also bring tears to my eyes in the serious scenes as well.
Though the book was set over several decades, I thought the movie managed to present the story just as well in the much shorted time frame. This proves that a movie doesn't have to follow the book completely accurately as long as it has talented writers on set.
If we were talking serious cinematography, this film wouldn't be judged highly. But based on creating a good, entertaining and enjoyable film, this one ticks all the boxes.
3. Romeo + Juliet (1996)
As I had been doing this play to death for the past few years, I watched several adaptations of the famous Shakespeare text. My favourite has to be the 1996 version with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. Directed by one of my favourite directors Baz Luhrmann, the film portrays the Renaissance period play so uniquely and intriguingly yet still manages to use the Shakespearean language alongside the modern world without a clash.
One of the amazing things about this particular Shakespearean play is how people envision Romeo and Juliet differently. Personally, I see Juliet to be quite mature and intelligent, whereas Romeo to be very naive and fickle. I think DiCaprio and Danes portrayed various characteristics of their characters well to please a wide range of people due to the various interpretations of the characters.
Though the movie isn't completely accurate, I think it's the most enjoyable adaptation of this play which makes studying it more enjoyable as well. However, I would still enjoy this film if I hadn't read the play and studied the texts for so long. The ancient tongue used in such a modern environment is so refreshing and yet makes the story more relatable and consequently enjoyable.
4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
One of my favourite films that I find so heartwarming and always leaves me thinking about it is The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Unfortunately, it is the one book here that I haven't read as I didn't particularly like the writing style. However I LOVE the movie. I think the casting is incredible. Logan Lerman portrays the fragile, shy and vulnerable Charlie so well that the audience instantly adores him. Emma Watson impresses us all again with her kind and charismatic personality. And Ezra Miller blows us away with his vivacious, hilarious and kind charm. The time period and music used in this film makes it so much more unique and right up my street as I love the music featured.
I think this film is a perfect example of the importance it is for the author of the novel to be as involved with the film as much as possible due to the author being the director. The movie portrayed the struggle and hardships that Charlie has to face so well without bluntly telling us his history. I also think the film balances the humour and sadness exceptionally. The serious issues are presented respectfully as well as the common and relatable problems that we all face and understand of going to school. This is a movie that I will always say yes to watching and will always laugh and cry over.
With a perfect cast of actors who can actually act, an incredibly written script, undeniable friendships and chemistry, and a properly budgeted film, it is worthy of a place on this post but also as being one of my favourite films ever. It's an inspiring and unique film that I definitely recommend.
5. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Last, but certainly not least, is the second instalment of the Hunger Games series; Catching Fire. This film is by far my favourite of the series as the story progressed so much more from the first. I think Katniss developed so much in this movie and we really got to see J-Laws capability of playing the role. I also, obviously loved seeing more Katniss and Peeta! I think this may be the most accurate book to movie adaptation as I remember being so overwhelmed with how perfect the script, the actors, the set and the story was when I watched it in the cinema. The emotions experience every time I watch it when we hear that Katniss must go back in the arena are heart-wrenching. The design of the actual Hunger Games; the island and the Cornucopia were just as I had imaged, as well as the threatening mist, the jabberjays and the lightning tree.
This was, for me, the strongest book in the series and also the strongest film. The story became so much more intriguing and fascinating and my connections with the characters become so much stronger. I loved meeting my favourite character of the series; Finnick. I thought that Sam Claflin, again, portrayed the character so well with his effortless charm, attractiveness and arrogance.
That's it! Those were my top 5 book to movie adaptations. I'd love to know your thoughts and your favourites!
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