Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Top 5 Tuesday: Book to Movie Adaptation

My productivity level is at an all time high right now, so I'm really excited to make a Top 5 Tuesday post on schedule! This week's topic is book to movie adaptations! I would include a rationale for picking this topic, but it honestly just popped into my head randomly as I was scrolling through Goodreads and it stuck.

5. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

This book is like a baby to me. I want to protect it and keep it all to myself, so when I heard that this book was a movie, I got a little nervous because 1) so many more people knew about the book now and it as no longer my little secret and 2) I did not want to see any injustice done to this book. Eventually I gave in and watched the movie and it made me just as emotional as the book, so it received an A+ in that regard, but I did have a few problems. Some of the plot got a little skewed in the movie, which disappointed me because I thought the way everything played out in the book was beautifully done; however, I can understand why the changes were made in order for the plot to be better carried out through a film. With this in mind, the film did a good job portraying the emotions behind the book, but it wasn't everything I hoped for.

4. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This movie came out the year after I had originally read the book for school, so it was still pretty fresh in my mind when I saw it for the first time. I remember distinctly being annoyed by everyone who had hated the book the year prior, but now professing their love for it just because Leonardo DiCaprio was going to be in the movie. With all that aside, I went in with an open mind and tried to ignore the swooning girls around me. I thought the movie captured the story of the book very well, but perhaps made the characters too likable. In the book I remember that the characters were all irritating and unlikable, but in the movie they all seemed more genuine, but that might just be due to placing faces with the names. Overall the movie was very well done and stayed loyal to the plot.

3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

I could have easily grouped all of the Harry Potter movies into one ranking for this post, but decided to just include my favorite one of the movies to evaluate this time. One of the major reasons why I think the Prisoner of Azkaban is the best of the Harry Potter movie adaptations is because it matches the tone of the book the best, which helps the movies transition from them being all about how cool it is to be magical to the more darker, mysteriousness of the later books/movies. I also think the introductions to new characters such as Sirius, Peter, and Remus were excellent and paralleled the book nicely. It is also was easy to follow along for people who hadn't read the book, which I know is important for movie adaptations so that they can appeal to a broader audience rather than just those who have read the book. I also thought the way the characters acted in this movie were very honest (besides Ron) in terms of how they are in the book. 

2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This is the only movie out of these five that I have only seen once, so it is more difficult for me to find things to say for this one. I remember seeing this in theaters and being in awe of how visually pleasing this film is. The visual elements helped bring out important concepts such as the overbearing presence of Nazis, which was represented with the huge, bright red flags that over powered the feeble, dingy homes and the pure, white snow. [SPOILER] My favorite scene from the movie is when the Nazis are smashing in the windows of shops and homes of the Jews and dragging them out into the streets while the only sound is that of the children singing. This part portrayed the childish innocence Liesel had in regards to the war. [END OF SPOILER] This movie also remained loyal to the plot of the book, for which I am extremely thankful.

1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

This book to movie adaption caps off my list simply because of how honest it is to the book. I don't think I have ever seen a movie that has remained as loyal to the book as The Help. I actually watched the movie before reading the book, but as I read the book I was thinking "oh my gosh, this is exactly how it happened in the movie too!" Entire monologues were even taken from the book, which is incredible. The movie also captured the era very well, which gave it a layer of authenticity. 

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