Saturday, October 21, 2006

And the Award For Worst Book To Film Adaptation Goes To....

Everything Is Illuminated!

I am so ticked off right now, I could scream.

Yesterday, I finished reading "Everything Is Illuminated" by Jonathan Safran Foer. It was an extremely well written novel and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was funny, thought-provoking, and extremely depressing. It was a very rich reading experience and I would recommend the book to anyone wanting to read a complete and original story. The book was very fulfilling to me and its probably the best book I have read in a long time.

Having said that, the movie was a complete waste. It was a good enough movie had you never read the book but it was an extremely poor adaptation of the novel. Poor as in pathetic. I am not sure what they were thinking when they were making the film because honestly, they added and subtracted the most needless things and ended up making the end of the movie have absolutely no point whatsoever. Lots of movies are pointless but this one was needlessly so; the book had such a good ending and there was a reason things ended the way they did. The movie tries to end the same way but they forget to tell a story before finishing the film and the reasoning and meaning behind the entire book is lost. The only thing the movie did very well was the casting. All of the characters in the movie are spot on with how the book described them and I was glad to see that. But at the same time, many of the people from the book are nowhere to be seen in the movie and I am not talking about obscure characters, I am speaking about main, pivotal characters that had a huge role to play in the story.

Then again, two-thirds of the story are missing from the film; the best parts I might add. I guess my big gripe was that the book was an epic tradgedy with a comedic narration. It was a sad tale that kept you reading because the humor was so well timed and proportioned in just the right amounts that it truly rounded out the story. The movie on the other hand was a comedy with a little bit of sad at the end and not even for the right reasons or events in keeping with the book. I am very aggravated that the character that I really expected and wanted to see portrayed in the film was non-existant, never even mentioned. And she was a main character, dammit!

Overall, the creators of the movie were not very creative or else the story could have been told correctly. I was visualizing how I was expecting the movie to be while I was reading it, why couldn't they? I am actually surprised the author let them get away with producing the film, then again, Stephen King had no say in the original "The Shining" film either.

Anywho, if you are looking for an excellent book, read "Everything is Illuminated". And no, this is not one of my "Mogwai-has-weird-taste-in-books" suggestions either, this book was actually a break from my usual reading habits and I am glad I chose to read it. Just be warned, it is depressing, very good but very depressing. I was almost crying on the train toward the end of it. If you have read the book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it and the movie. This is one of those novels where you really want to talk about it with someone when you are done and I am minus anyone who has read it, let alone heard of it before I mentioned it to them.

On that note, I expect that once the "I Am Legend" movie gets done being made, I will have the same gripes with it. They have already said the film will have more in common with the movie "Omega Man" than with the actual book, "I Am Legend". Too bad.

In other news, as I type this, I am reading it on a crisp 19" Princeton LCD monitor. I have gotten tired of watching and making other people watch movies on a 13" laptop screen and decided it was time for a change. That and the monitor was on sale at a store that accepts American credit cards. Yay, for me!


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