“Rebecca is sacred. Rebecca is a masterpiece and those of all who want to experience its beauty should go through the trouble of reading it.” A friend remarked when the news of Rebecca being adapted into a movie by Netflix came out.
For most of the individuals who spend their free time immersed in the company of books, the most dreaded task certainly would be to go to the nearby theatre to watch the adaptation of their favourite work of literature. Those who do dare to go are usually wary and are more involved in picking faults of actors playing their beloved characters and of the storyline than actually enjoying the movie or TV adaptation. They have their reasons and somewhere those reasons are valid. A movie has star power, so much so, that it ultimately becomes about the actors who portray the iconic roles—and somewhere along the way, it dilutes the essence of the story. If it is a well-made adaptation, it flourishes, minting millions of dollars and inevitably, the book becomes known by the movie adaptation!
However, it is an undeniable truth that in most situations, a movie or TV adaptation will always garner more attention—it will always reach to a wider audience and will ultimately lead to a surge in the sales of the book as well. However distressing the truth might seem to be, it is a fact that most of us do not read—we find it effortless to watch a 2-hour movie than spend a lot more time reading a book.
Though when given a personal choice, most readers would always choose a book over a movie, there have been certain movies that have captured the essence of those works perfectly. Whether it is the cast or the screenplay or the direction or maybe the amalgamation of everything—these movies have come extremely close to portray the book in a beautiful way.
These are the top 6 movie adaptations of classics, that are almost as good as the written word:
· To Kill a Mockingbird:
Released in 1962, this movie is an adaption of Harper Lee’s genius, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The film narrates the story of a family—Scout Finch, her brother Jem Finch and their father Atticus. The story follows the family as they grow up. As a lawyer, Atticus decides to defend a black man, Tom Robinson and through the trail, everyone witnesses the evils of the town. The movie was a box-office success and won three Academy Awards. The father and daughter relationship of Scout and Atticus is displayed beautifully in the film and it is successful in effectively capturing the spirit that the book came to be known for.
· Little Women:
Released in 1994, this movie follows the life of four March sisters as they navigate life and is based on Louisa May Alcott’s book of the same name. March sisters, Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy live together in Concord. The film follows them as they navigate love, heartbreak and family. The movie opened to positive reviews and was nominated for three Academy Awards.
The book has been adapted into a movie multiple times and this adaptation remains a favourite of many people.
· The Great Gatsby:
Released in 2013, the movie follows the life of the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby, who throws lavish parties in his house hoping that one day, his lost love, Daisy might attend them. He loves her and hopes to reunite with her, even though he knows his is a doomed love story. The movie is a visual delight with its songs and portrayal of the roaring twenties. Leonardo DiCaprio brought Jay Gatsby to life—he was everything I had imagined Gatsby to be.
· 10 Things I Hate About You:
Not many people are aware that this 1999 movie is loosely based on William Shakespeare’s sixteenth-century play, “The Taming of the Shrew.” The story is retold in a high school setting and follows Cameron James who is smitten with Bianca Stratford. He cannot date her until her elder sister Kat dates and Cameron selects Patrick Verona—a typical bad boy for her. The film follows them as they navigate through high school life and discover love. The movie opened to positive reviews from critics and public and gave a big platform to the cast of the film.
· Gone with the Wind:
Released in 1939, this historical romance is based on Margaret Mitchell’s novel of the same name. Set in the background of the American Civil war, the film is largely considered to be one of the greatest films of all time. Nominated for 12 Academy Awards, the movie won 10 awards with the acting of the lead characters especially praised by everyone. The film is a delight to watch—so much so that it has ingrained itself in the hearts of everyone and was re-released several times through the 20th century.
· The Godfather:
Released in 1972, the movie remains true to the spirit of the book. The movie has developed a cult following with the generation and was originally released as a crime novel written by author Mario Puzo. The author assisted with the writing of the movie and won numerous awards worldwide—including three Academy Awards. The book and the film fit together perfectly and it is a shame that while most of us have enjoyed “The Godfather” and the sequels, a lot of us are not aware that the film is a movie adaptation of a very successful book.