7 Movies Way Better than the Book (is that possible?)
by Hibathu Naseer
Every bookworm would be offended by this heading, but trust me, there are screen adaptations out there that outdid their respective books. The mantra is often “the book is better than the movie”. There are, of courses, cases with the reverse situation. Though cinema and literature are two different arts and should not be compared, sometimes we just know which form of art captured the essence of a story more accurately- the book or movie. There are directors who with their immense hard work and talent, who transformed a book into another level and brought out movies that earned our hearts.Related: 9 Highly Anticipated Book to Movie/Series Adaptations to Watch in 2021
Here are 7 movies that are way better than the book:
1. Forrest Gump
Director Robert Zemecki’s Oscar-winning picture, Forrest Gump, is nothing but a masterpiece. Simply put, Forrest Gump is the story of a man with a generous heart who finds his way into the centre of much of modern history. Starring Tom Hanks and Sally Field, this movie has it all- romance, “bromance”, comedy, emotions, and an inspiring plot that is sure to leave you heart warm.
There are a lot of events in the movie that are different in the book. Even the general personality of the characters is different. There is dark setting in the novel, unlike the heart-warming story of the movie. You are likely to be disappointed if you read the book expecting the same pleasure as the movie.
2. The Shawshank Redemption
"Remember that hope is a good thing, Red, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."
Andy Dufresne, a banker, was convicted of killing his wife and her lover and sent to Shawshank Prison. He maintains his innocence over the decades he spends at Shawshank during which time he forms a friendship with "Red", a fellow inmate.
Stephen King is undisputedly one of the best writers of the horror genre, but his non-scary novella Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption was mostly forgotten in his 1982 collection Different Seasons until director Frank Darabont brought it to the screen as The Shawshank Redemption, almost twelve years later.
3. Fight Club
Fight Club is a gloriously original movie that exposes the darkness at the core of our modern world. It is based on the 1996 novel of Chuck Palahniuk of the same name. Palahniuk himself loved the adaptation so much that afterward he said he was “sort of embarrassed” by his book about a depressed guy.
4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
In order to escape the prison labour, McMurphy, a prisoner, fakes insanity and is shifted to the special ward for the mentally unstable. In this ward, he must rise up against a cruel nurse, Ratched. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) is on every list of favourite films. It is the second movie in the history of the Oscars to win all five of the big awards- picture, actor, actress, director and screenplay.
Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel about inpatients at Oregon psychiatric ward was filled memorable characters and powerful themes. But the movie transformed this psychological novel to another level. Both the movie and the book deserve equal praise. Both of them are a must-read and must-watch.
5. Silence of the Lambs
A young FBI agent working with a cannibal psychiatrist to catch a serial killer making a girl suit out of human skin.
Both the movie and novel scared the world silent. The film adaptation directed by Jonathan Demme was released in 1991 to a huge box office success and critical acclaim. It was elevated by Oscar-winning performances from Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins. It also won Academy Awards for best film, director and screenplay. Silence of the Lambs is a must-watch movie for all horror and thriller-lovers.
6. The Notebook
Nicholas Spark is undoubtedly one of the best romance fiction writers ever, with his sweet, heart-warming love stories. But Nick Cassavetes’ 2004 adaptation of 1996’s The Notebook left fans dumbstruck. Rachel McAdam's and Ryan Gosling had chemistry that was off the charts as a pair of young lovers facing classic obstacles like war, her engagement and disapproving parents. In fact, the release of screen adaptations of Sparks’ books, made his books more popular than before. We owe Hollywood a little credit for making Sparks popular.
7. The Devil Wears Prada
A young woman who is hired as a personal assistant to a powerful fashion magazine editor, a job that becomes nightmarish as she struggles to keep up with her boss's gruelling schedule, and sever demands.
Lauren Weisberger's thinly veiled novel The Devil Wears Prada was admired by a lot as a humorous chick lit fiction. The movie by David Frankel gave the characters and plot a new life, and even brought new characters and plot lines to it. Starring Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, and Emily Blunt, the movie is indeed a delightful experience.
The above movies are a product of great directional, acting and cinematographic skills. Are there other movies which you think are better than its books?
- Hibathu Naseer
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