Saturday, 1 August 2009

Book ya Movie?

If I am to publicly announce I AM A POTTER FAN and also quickly add I have read none of the Potter books – will the True Blue J K Rowling fanfare gag and spear me for trying to slither into their Treasured Territory? Why is it that after every Harry Potter movie, I come out of the hall all euphoric and ready to get onto a broom and fly, while my True Blue Potter clan holler and whine at what not the book had that the movie did not? With due respect to J. K. Rowling's dexterous presentation and her expertise with graphic details (so I heard), I'd like to remind my dear Potter book lovers that it's plainly unjust to expect the movie to be the book. I've been thinking about it for quite some time now…

Movies being two dimensional allow the closest depiction of the Makers' imagination. But to churn out that exact desired effect, the Maker is dependent on diverse factors (actors, animation etc.) – the "end product" might not be the "intended product". Again, there's the time constraint. And isn't the Maker yet another artist and would he/could he breathe easy till he has made his own additions and subtractions? The Book, on the other hand, is a two man show – if the Writer is the God, so is the Reader. One describes, the other imagines. Besides, words can engulf details the eyes might miss on-screen. What a turn of head and batting of an eye-lid did in 2 sec, in the book it might be two pages with everything from the length of her lashes, her ambrosial smell, to how she heaved under his stare and the exact thoughts racing through her mind. In the end, both are work of art and to the respective artist, we should give it.

Take one of my most loved novels, The Color Purple (1982) by Alice Walker, for instance. One of those Most Challenged Books of that age, The Color Purple is a Feministic novel made of a series of letters, that sum up the dire straits of black women in Southern US, that of the black natives in Africa and that of women, in those time, in general. Stephen Spielberg's star studded movie had Whoopi Goldberg (as central protagonist Celie) and Oprah Winfrey (Celie's foil Sofia), and although it looked shrunk and barely touched upon few core themes like female homosexuality – you end up loving the film just as much. Please listen to Miss Celie's blues. It played in my head the whole week thereafter and is, even now, as I write it.

I would not know how was my favorite Forest Gump, Shawshank Redemption, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Slumdog Millionaire, The Reader, Big Fish, Shrek, and needless to repeat, Harry Potter, worded in their Original versions. But if someday I happen to settle down with their novel, would I will love these wonderful movies any less? I think not.

P.S.: Here's a list of Books turn Movie you might want to surf through.


Queen B said...

I would say movie and the book both. I am the kind of harry potter fan who started reading the books the same day each one of them were released. Yet I loved each of the movies too. Writing and film-making are two different crafts and one has to enjoy them with that perspective in mind. However, all said and done, like a true blue potter fan, I am looking forward to the seventh book being divided into 2 films to incorporate as much of the graphic details by Rowling as possible.

Ann Dee said...

Queen B

And I have been resisting reading any of the Potters so that the movie feels like a blast, as it always has. Before the 6th, to fresh up things, we ran a Potter whole Sunday. Aww me so loves 'em. :)

eye-in-sty-in said...

its the way they are made. HP movies suck. LOTR movies rock! Also, what u read/watch first matters.

Smita said...

Books for me!! Always!!!

Have seen very few movie which were made out of books. Namesake, Devil Wear's Prada & Confessions of a Shopaholic and liked none of them. I missed the detailing of the book & somehow couldn't get the real feel as well.

In fact I have subconsiocusly decided to stay away from books-movies route :)

Ann Dee said...


Did you just say HP movies suckand that too in my territory? How preposterous!!!!


Why of course it'd be books for Smita :)
Honestly, I'm little pro-movies... true they almost always fail to capture the intricate details like books do..but I marvel at their squeeze some 500 pages into 2 hours is quite a feat, don't you think?

olive oyl said...

i loved both in fact. and then i stopped reading harry potter after the fifth book because i couldn't get hold of the books :(

also, there's 'gone with the wind' and 'dr. zhivago' that i loved in both forms. :)

oops. sorry. amar banglae comment lekhar kotha chhilo :D