Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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Books or Their Adaptations?



J.K. Rowling became an overnight sensation with the success of her popular book series Harry Potter. A lot of the credit for this goes to the film adaptation of the seven series long fantasy novel. The film series not only did a lucrative business at the box-office across the globe but also made Harry a rage among teenagers and adults alike. The films made the experience of Hogwarts come alive on the silver screen. However, book lovers would argue that the movies failed to live up to their expectations and could not re-invoke the emotions that the books aroused.


Whenever an eminent work of literature is adapted into a work of cinema, its authenticity becomes debatable .It is true that a lot of hard-work and effort goes down to bring about an adaptation of a popular novel. From purchasing the rights to making numerous creative changes according to the requirements of the silver scenes and the audiences, book-adaptations become a hectic job for film makers. Besides, movies like “Harry Potter” demand strenuous work on special effects to create the desired visual impact. But, all these things become insignificant for the reader who remains unsatisfied with the film adaptation of his favorite book.


The truth is when a person reads a book he invents the world of that book and its inhabitants in his mind using his own imagination and creativity. When a film maker attempts to re-create this world, he does it from his own perspective. This world, to a great extent, contradicts the world imagined by the reader and thus creates dissatisfaction in the reader. Moreover, certain omissions and digressions, introduced by the director to suit the screen and compress the narrative, do not go too well with the readers, who expect loyalty with the story. This holds true for the numerous screen adaptations of classics such as Pride and Prejudice as well as the movie adaptations of recent novels such as Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons.


However, movies cater to a larger number of audiences. For all those movie buffs who are not too fond of reading, films become a great way of narrating a beautiful and impactful story. Although an abridged version, movies can convey an important story to the masses. Think of it, if Bimal Roy wouldn’t have come up with “Devdas” first, hadn’t Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s brilliant work of fiction gone unnoticed?

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