They say that a great book can never be made to a great movie. I beg to differ in some cases. There have been times when great books have come alive so well on the big screen. It’s amazing to see what some directors have done with these books. Here are few of my favourites:
1. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell: Vivien Leigh as the playful, bashful, and headstrong Scarlett O’Hara took my breath away. It was after watching the film that I read the book and it remains to be one of my favourite books and movie. I mean how can anyone forget Vivien picking up a handful of dirt in her hand and looking to the sky while saying, “I will never be hungry again”, or for that matter the famous, “Tomorrow is another day” as made famous by the on-screen Scarlett as Rhett Butler (played brilliantly by Clarke Gable) leaves her on the staircase of her house. This is one movie no one should miss.
2. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov: I am referring to the 1962 film version directed by the genius – Stanley Kubrick – the black and white imaging and play of light and shadow was brilliant. It was the component that propelled the story further. With James Mason as Humbert Humbert and Shelley Winters as Charlotte (played to the hilt) and not to forget Sue Lyon as Dolores Haze, the story was etched and controversial – of course only because of the book. How in the world could a man do this to a young girl? What I loved about the movie was its unfolding – Kubrick cleverly changed the order in which the events unfolded by moving what was the novel’s ending to the start of the film. Brilliant I say!
3. The Shining by Stephen King: Yes the book was longer. Yes the book was creepier. Yes we all loved the book. However, how can one discount the film? Jack Nicholson was brilliant. The past and future conjoined with what the child saw. I for one could not sleep for two days after watching this one.
4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: I am certain that if there is another adaptation of this book, no one will go and watch it. I love the story – makes me think I am reading Indian fiction for some strange reason – I mean come on – five daughters who need to get married – an intrusive mother, a doting father and the class and moral system of early Georgian England. The intelligent and spirited Elizabeth Bennett is one of my favourite heroines and I wish every girl their very own Darcy. The Lawrence Olivier version rules!
5. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje: Ralph Fiennes as the wounded soldier. Juliette Binoche as Hana the nurse who looks after him. Naveen Andrews as the enigmatic sapper Kip who loves Hana, a thief with chopped hands and the story of the english patient’s life. All the action takes place in a run-down war-torn Italian villa. The book had to be brilliant, but the film touched every single note right. Superb!
I don’t think one post will be enough for this. I have to come back with more…for sure…