September 30, 2011

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Some exciting news this week, from the reputable source of Perez Hilton: “Blake Lively is the latest actress to reportedly be offered the lead role of Elizabeth Bennett in the upcoming film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.”

Looks like I will finally have to read the ‘and Zombies’ version. It has been sitting on my bookshelf for months. I will just read it. No big deal.

I am a huge fan of Jane Austen and I have been tempted to read this left-of-centre inspired-by creation. But, so far, I just can’t bring myself to open anything that has Eliza Bennett training to become a stake-toting ninja. Humph.

The film should be interesting though – and it will be a good score for Blake, if she does end up signing on. Natalie Portman and Emma Stone have also been linked to the Craig Gillespie production, so anything could happen before filming starts next year.

Who knows – it might end up being one movie that I actually like more than the book! That is, if I do end up reading the book…

Speaking of Blake Lively though – I’m still a little disappointed that she didn’t snag the role of Daisy Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. Don’t get me wrong; I think Carey Mulligan will be fantastic. (She was superb as Kitty in P&P, after all.) But I could just see Blake reclining on that sofa…

‘The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon. They were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house… Daisy, made an attempt to rise – she leaned slightly forward with a conscientious expression – then she laughed, an absurd, charming little laugh…’

Especially now that Blake is dating Leo for real… the off-screen romance would have translated into some real on-screen passion between Jay and Daisy – not to mention the gossip factor for all the trashy mags in the mean time.

Well, in any case, that gives us two more adaptations to look forward to… stay tuned.

September 28, 2011

In my view...

With Hollywood churning out so many modern adaptations of both new and classic novels, it is commonly debated whether the movies can ever match the original. What crucial scenes are missing? Does the lead actor pull-off the much-loved character? Where have the subplots merged together or disappeared completely?

Filmmakers have many tools and techniques at their disposal – from locations and lighting, to actors, directors, props and special effects – and yet it is impossible for a film to completely and faithfully recreate a novel. 

A good book can conjure entire worlds in the mind of the reader. With only the sequences of words on a page, authors can create characters, scenes and stories that are limited only by human imagination, and are thus limitless.

I admit, I am always excited when one of my favourite books is being adapted to film; I rush out and I watch it straight away. But I always expect the book to be better.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy some modern adaptations. Actually, I enjoy many of them – in particular, I most enjoy the movies that allow me to once again become immersed in the story; to become reacquainted with the characters that I know so well; and, for just two short hours, to relive the experience of reading the book.

In some cases, I have enjoyed the movie so much that it has changed the way that I perceive the original. In my mind, Henry DeTamble now looks like Eric Bana, and Mr Rochester doesn’t necessarily have to dress up as the gypsy… But in my heart, when I think of the story and where my love for it was set, I cannot look past the pages of the book where it began.