From time to time, I make the error of watching adaptations without reading the books first. After being enraptured by the adaptation, I pick up the book and then wholeheartedly devote myself to it. The book always turns out to be better. There are several reasons that happen and it is understandable why movies and series, more often than not, fall short. That is why, whenever a mistake such as that happens, I am in the headspace of picking up the book and devouring it.
Except for the few times, I decided to never read the books they were based on. I keep away from them entirely because they have the power to remove the entire charm of the film by being bad or being completely different. Movies rely on various elements apart from stories; performance, cinematography, design aesthetic and costumes. They base the entire experience of a film on the medley of them all, so when any of them falls short, another aspect can compensate. As an audience, I fall in love with the overall experience of the film. If the movie does not have a strong storyline, it can have a stellar aesthetic and engaging cinematography.
Most recently, The Lost Daughter by Elena Ferrante is a book that I have sworn off. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directed adaptation of the book has won multiple awards and had a great release on Netflix. Olivia Colman and Dakota Johnson gave some of the best performances of the year. On top of that, the movie was shot in a way that drew the audience into the character and made sure that they were feeling the same things as the protagonist. Yet, the movie did not draw me in through the story. It did much better in all other elements; thus, if I read the book by Ferrante, the story would fall bleak or the movie would not be the same again.
There is a high chance that the book will not be as pleasing. The story might not be as impactful as the movie made it or it may force me to reevaluate the interpretation of the movie. Reading the book would lead to nothing good; a dissatisfying read and an uncomfortable viewing.
These are adaptations that are not exactly adaptations. The directors have taken several creative liberties while making the movie and have simply borrowed a single aspect from the book. Some of the biggest examples of such adaptations are any of the movies that are said to be adapted from Chetan Bhagat books or “Game of Thrones” Season 6. This applies to “The Duff” too. Some adaptations don’t need the books to be read. It is preferable not to read them.
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