I am a Lord of the Rings fangirl. More so than an Assassin's Creed fangirl. I nearly hijacked a blog's comment section. I realised my mistake. But to satisfy my need to blog about my favourite book (and to un-officially take part in the Novel Films Blogfest), I would like to continue the discussion.
Please go read Misha Blog "Novel Films Blogfest Part 2: What makes a good adaption?"
It should give you a better idea what I'm rambling about.
"Nice post! But I think you left out one of the book/movie combinations that should always be mentioned. Maybe I'm biased... "
Maybe? I like lying to myself it seems.
The Lord of the Rings fall into the same category as The Chronicles of Narnia when it comes to movie adaptations. The book is written is such exquisite detail that you can't go wrong if you follow it closely. Great descriptions of breathtaking views and of clothing and armour in the minutest detail. The filmmakers spent quite a lot of time perusing The Lord of the Rings and other books by Tolkien concerned with Middle-earth. It is to their credit: it took seven years to film all three movies. And they did an excellent job. From the level of detail in the movies you can see that they took it very seriously. It was truly a job well done.
And yet Peter Jackson decided to move away from the book at some points. For example, in the movie Faramir takes Frodo to Osgiliath (on the way to Minas Tirith to take the One Ring to his father, the Steward of Gondor). In the book it does not happen because Faramir states "I would not take this thing if it lay by the wayside". Jackson had a good reason for doing this. In the book it is made clear that Faramir is very different from his brother, who tried to take the Ring by force. It is a very important sub-plot in the book. However, it would be impossible to create a sub-plot of the same strenth in the movies without extending the already lengthy movies (about 12 hours in total) quite a bit more. The problem then arose that the Ring is a powerful seductress. How is it possible that a man would just say "nah, not for me"? Without the backgroun in the book, the movie had to make a different plan. And it all worked out all right: Frodo still went on his journey and completed his quest. He just took a bit of a different road to get there.
Did it lessen the story? I think it did, actually. But not in such a way that I don't like the movies. I love the book, and I read it once a year. And I love the movies. I love them for different reasons, though. The book I love because it is an absolute masterpiece of writing. I love the movies because people spent such a long time with the sole purpose of carrying accross a much loved story as faithfully as possible. They made the movies in honour of Tolkien, not despite of him.
The things in the movie that I disliked was thoroughly made up for. There are certain passages, sometimes whole paragraphs in the movie that are direct quotes from the book. The same detail that is in the book is carried over to the movies.
I dream of writing a book that will have the same impact on movie makers one day. The Lord of the Rings is a book with no equal. No-one can improve on it. Jackson and his team didn't try to. I think that is what goes wrong with adaptations. People think they can make the movie better than the book. Maybe they can. In this case, they didn't have a chance. Well done to them for not trying.
Do you aspire to write a book that can be made into a movie? Does that influence your writing style at all?
On a side note, how/where do I find out about these blog fests? I hate getting on the back of the cart all the time.