By Aarti Athavle
Most of the popular and classics books these days have been adapted for the big screen, at times even more than once. The people who read the books often complain that the essence of the books is taken away when translated on film.
Some adaptations completely diverge from the author’s vision while some remain true to its source material. The characters and plots are conveniently changed to add drama to the film and it doesn’t work with the audience who expect authenticity.
Over the years, there are some adaptations which have remained faithful to the books and the heart of the story. Harry Potter perhaps would be at the top of this list as people are still raving about how great of an adaptation it was. However, there are several other movies that are not given the same attention but still are a great book to film adaptation.
These films have garnered critical praise and earned appreciation of the audience which in itself is a rare combination. These films are simply brilliant.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Film adaptation – 1962
A classic of Modern American literature, this book was adapted for the silver screen in 1962. The story is set during the times of the Great Depression in a fictional town of Alabama and deals mainly with the topic of racial discrimination.
A novel that takes up such sensitive topics like race, violence, and hatred has been portrayed by the director Robert Mulligan in an empathetic and heroic way. The film has brilliant performances by actors Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch for which he earned an Academy Award for Best Actor.
The Godfather by Mario Puzo
Film adaptation – 1972
The film stays true to the book, as writer Mario Puzo himself had a hand in screenwriting. Som changes have been made to the backstories of a few characters but these were later added to the sequel.
This classic film has an ending which is more devastating than the one in the book. With solid performances, directing and impeccable original story; this movie is a classic.
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
Film adaptation – 1930
This tale about German soldiers during the World War I and its aftermath is an emotional and haunting story. The film adaptation released in 1930 depicts the plot perfectly, keeping the themes and characters as close to the original as possible and leaves the same devastating impact on viewers.
The screenings of the film faced protests in Germany once the Nazis came into power. This Academy Award-winning film is often referred to as the ultimate anti-war film.
Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
Film adaptation – 2012
The most talked about movie of 2012, Silver Linings Playbook was adapted from Matthew Quick’s debut novel of the same name. The characters are unique and realistic, portrayed perfectly by Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.
The movie deals with sensitive issues like mental illness and grief in a surprisingly entertaining yet compassionate way. Though the movie differs from the book in some aspects, it doesn’t completely change its story, instead it adds an interesting and somewhat comedic tone to the film.
Lord of the Rings Series by J. R. R. Tolkien
Film adaptation – 2001 to 2003
The three fantasy adventure films based on Tolkien’s novel are one of the most magnificent projects ever to be undertaken. The imagery in the books has been captured beautifully in these films and the end result is visually stunning films.
The fictional world of Middle Earth is brought to life in these films delighting the moviegoers and Tolkien fans alike. A critical and commercial success; it had an irrevocable impact on popular culture.
A few changes made to the original source material are understandable if it helps elevate the overall impact. These films are the ones which maintained the essence of the books through the characters, plot, themes and tone and made sure the books and the movies complimented each other.
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