When it comes to pure escapism my first love is and always be reading, but when I have a spare couple of hours I do also love watching a decent movie. Before I became a nurse before I became a writer I did a bachelors degree in Communication Studies which had a large film studies component so we watched, analysed and even made movies- (lots of fun and challenging to tell a story in such a short space of time).
So you’d think that watching a movie of a book would be escapism to the power of two…but we all know films of books that just don’t in any way showcase the real story (I was pleased when my young son told me he didn’t like the Harry Potter films because they weren’t as ‘real’ as the books because that meant he’d keep reading). But yet, I still like to watch a movie of a loved book anyway- and I always try to make sure I read the book first, that way I have my own idea as to what the characters and setting look like.
Until The Hunger Games—watching that movie made me go straight home and read all three books in the series- and no, the film isn’t exactly like the book, but it’s pretty darned close, I’d say- and if it makes you want to read the books then it’s done a good job. (I was recently told by my son's English teacher that one way to encourage teenage boys to read is to get them to read a book of a movie they enjoyed, or to read books with themes/characters from movies.)
There are of course lots of movies that disappoint- My Sister’s Keeper is a good example. THEY CHANGED THE ENDING! Completely- and even Jodi Picoult couldn’t make them change it back!! But even knowing this I was still compelled to watch the dvd. (disappointing).
I recently watched Life of Pi- wow what an absolute feast to watch, it is a thing of beauty- the cinematography is amazing. And the movie is pretty close to the book.
I’ve just finished reading Silver Linings Playbook and that is such a ‘cerebral’ book- in that there is a lot of internal stuff going on, so I’ll be interested to see whether the movie encapsulates the inside workings of the protagonist’s mind. And it has the sexiest man alive in it, so I'll take a risk and watch it!
I’m also keen to see The Great Gatsby- if only because it has had such terrible reviews here that I’m interested to see just how bad it is- but with Baz Luhrman directing I imagine it’ll be quite a spectacle!
What about you- movie or book first? Any movies of books that you’ve hated? Any that you’ve loved?