Can a movie be better than the book? Part II

Now I want to look at a book that has been adapted for film, but not particularly successfully: Les Miserables. The book is so complex and intricate that a film version could never capture the beauty of Hugo’s words. My single favorite chapter is about the process and history of the beads that M. Madeleine produces in an efficient way to gain his fortune. The entire chapter is just about the beads. How could this be interpreted into film. This is one example of a book that I don’t think ever could have a film that does it justice. The plot alone is so interwoven, but those little bits and pieces in between of beautiful prose.

I see one more category of films/books. When the film surpasses the books cultural importance, then the film really has the potential to be “better” than the books. I felt like I should only use examples of movies and books that I read/viewed both and that’s why I had to use Slumdog Millionaire. During a quick Google search if there were any movies that were usually considered better than the books and most fell under this category. Examples include The Godfather, Psycho, quite a few Steven King based movies. This probably happens a lot because so many movies are based on books/short stories/plays that aren’t considered “great” like the “classics” Pride and Prejudice, The Last of the Mohicans and Les Miserables.

Any opinions? I would love to hear about your experiences with films v. books.

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Filed under American, British, Film, Literature

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