Should we watch film adaptations of novels?

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The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald was published on this day in 1925 and with that in mind I started to think about film adaptations of novels. I personally enjoyed the most recent adaptation of The Great Gatsby which was directed by Baz Luhrmann. I thought Leonardo Di Caprio was a convincing Gatsby and Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire were well cast as Daisy and Nick. I felt that Luhrmann presented an accurate depiction of the excessiveness of 1920s America in the party scenes, and if you haven’t seen this movie then it is worth watching.

However, the question needs to be asked should books not just be read instead of being re-created for the big screen? Many people would argue that watching a film adaptation takes away from the reader’s experience of the novel by presenting them with the director’s interpretation of the book rather than the writer’s. Although others believe that the cinematic experience gives a whole new dimension to a novel. Of course there is always a danger that people will go straight for the movie and forsake reading the book altogether, missing out on the pleasure of reading, now that is a depressing thought.

The next film adaptation due out later this year in the UK and Ireland is of Gustave Flaubert’s classic novel Madame Bovary. It is directed by Sophie Barthes and features the actress Mia Wasikowska as Madame Bovary. Mia is no stranger to taking on the lead roles in film adaptations of classical novels, we have already seen her cast as Alice in Wonderland and Jayne Eyre. Her performances in both were well received by the critics. I have no doubt that Mia will be able to take on the role of Emma Bovary and I look forward to seeing it. So after all this deliberation my advice for anyone who wants to see the movie would be to do so, but read the book first you will not be disappointed.

 madame-bovary

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