Now and Then.

Who the...?

Harendra Kapur.
Kyra Mathews.
Tejas Menon.

Ive always been a reader first, a movie watcher second. Thus, watching a movie that has derived life from a book can sometimes be painful, often heart-wrenching. Many good books are massacred to make a good movie, descriptions and characters faded in the process of making the film a worthwhile one. On the other hand, many a character have been brought to life by celluloid in a way that paper never did justice to. The following is a list of the good and the ugly of paper becoming celluloid.

The Good:
1) The Godfather. The book was good, the movie was a classic. Marlon Brando gave life to Don Corleone in a way the book never fully did justice to. The book didn’t reek of power and vengeance the way the movie did. Brando was a true God.
2) Gone with the Wind. I had the good fortune of this being the first love story I ever read. As a result, all the men in my life are measured by Rhett Butler, i.e Clark Gable who spent years mastering the sneer that MADE him Rhett Butler. In Vivien Leigh, it was like Scarlett O’ Hara had stepped out of the pages of the book to act in the movie. The book was brilliant and the movie was a tribute to its brilliance. God help anyone who decides to remake it. There was only one Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara in this lifetime, and Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh were them. There is something very grammatically wrong with the previous sentence.
3) The Harry Potter Series. Books were awesome, movies are good. No, seriously. The special effects in the movies are a tribute to J.K Rowling’s imagination. There are times when I wonder about the casting, but to each his own. To some people, Daniel Radcliffe is Harry Potter, to others he’s very…”I don’t know…” Overall however, I think Transfiguration, Quidditch, Hagrid, and everything to do with wands, more than make up for the films shortcomings.
4) Bridget Jones’ Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Bridget Jones is one of my favourite characters in literary fiction and Renee Zellweger. The otherwise svelte actress, made herself put on pounds of weight, perfected her accent and her walk to become the life, soul and chocolate and cigarette consuming Bridget Jones. She is Bridget Jones in all her voluptuous flesh.

The Ugly:
1) Little Women. Oh My Good Lord. I have the misfortune of having this movie on tape. It was a 12th birthday present and it was so bad I cried. The book is one of the most beautiful examples of literature on the planet and Louisa May Alcott must have turned in her grave at Winona freaking Ryder playing Jo March, the girl whose only real beauty was her hair. Jo March is not physically attractive in any way. She’s downright plain. She’s got a temper, a personality, a talent. Looks, she does not have. Why would a pretty woman be cast as Jo March, the principal character of the book? The book REVOLVES around Jo March. Did the makers of this movie never READ the book?
2) Chocolat. This book should never have been made into a movie. The mesmerizing magical descriptions of chocolate that Joanne Harris weaved so beautifully into words didn’t show up on screen. With the book, the story took you places, with the movie, it just stayed flat. Disappointing. Also, a waste of Johnny Depp’s awesomeness.
3) Pride & Prejudice. With Lizzie Bennet posing the same casting problems as Jo March (interesting, intelligent, but not in-your-face attractive), Keira Knightley was a very okay choice. Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy was also a very okay choice. But. Aha, if youre smart, you knew that was coming. Mr. Darcy and Lizzie Bennet are two of the greatest, most enigmatic characters in English Literature. Okay doesnt do them justice.
4) The Da Vinci Code. Awesome book. Very average movie. Yes, that’s it.

The Opposite Effect: Movies so beautiful, I have to read the books.

1) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
2) A Beautiful Mind
3) The Horse Whisperer
4) Forrest Gump
5) Horton hears a Who
6) Fast Times at Ridgemont High

6 responses to "Paper to Celluloid"

  1. WOOHOO! Someone else did a list! I felt like such a weirdo and now I have company. Awesome list, however i do disagree.
    The Harry Potter movies were to the books what masterbation is to sex. Does the job, but you're not too proud to have been there...
    I still maintain if Hermione wasnt as hot as she grew up to be people wouldve hated the movie...!
    Also I loved Chocolat! I didnt even know it's a book so that's my set of standards.
    Awesome post. Where do you always find these pictures!? You make them don't you? Bledy.
    Also, the Horton book is amazing. Like shatter foundations amazing.
    Today's word: ingomnwi...I think they're onto us.


  2. LORD of the Rings AWESOME BESTEST MOVIES ... The book i never got past the 4th page...well i used the word "bestest" so u know by now i don't read much.
    ALso, Angels and Demons...Much better than the Da vinci Code, the book and the movie!
    Futhermore, I am ashamed to say this... Twilight is pretty sick! Don't Judge.
    Moreover, Jhumpa Lahiri's Namesake, movie was a really good rendition of the book... who knew Kal Penn could act in dramas.
    And... Jurassic Park was made welll... to see dinosaurs on screen is always awesome!!


  3. Harry the Pug-Betrayer - WHat did I say about Harry Potter and the casting? HEH?! And when did you read Horton, you smarty pants you? P.S - I invented lists. You know this is true. My word is zuzan. Ha. Beat that, pug-betrayer.

    Romit - Shit, I cant believe I forgot Namesake. That was an awesome book made into an awesomer movie. With Lord of the Rings, I didnt want to say anything cos I havent read the books. TWILIGHT? TWILIGHT?!!Those people couldnt act! They just had makeup plastered on them to look vampirish, and GAH! It was HORRIBLE. But yes, to see dinosaurs is always awesome. But again, I never read Crichton's Jurassic Park. Woe is me. Must watch Angels & Demons though, amazing book.


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  5. Relevant and much needed-for-today, awesome post.
    I disagree about harry potter, barring Azkaban, i think all the movies are quite shit, with Chamber having the honour of being one of the worst-acted movies of all time, that even aragog the CGI character, bested them all, histrionically.
    I was surpirsed you didnt mention atonement and the way they adapted it to screen making the book seemingly fictitious, in a very clever way. i maintain that it may have been technically the best movie i saw from 2007! same director as pride & prejudice...joe wright.
    Also Romit, the jurassic park movies, RULE.


  6. Twilight Romit, really? I'm really going to judge. Wait, are you talking about the book or the movie?


The All of us.

The All of us.