5 Movies That Are As Good As The Books

I’m a bookworm so whenever one of my favorite books is adapted into a film, I always approach them with some hesitation. Since literature and cinema are completely different mediums, taking a story from one platform to another has its challenges. We bookworms often get a bad rap for claiming “The book was better” but in most cases, it really was. When you read a book, you spend a lot of time with it. You get attached to the characters and feel for them as if they were your friends, or in some cases - you. Two hours is a short time to build that kind of relationship with on-screen characters. Another grave crime that we bookworms can’t stand is when certain, subtle details are omitted from the film adaptation. In the books, these details play a meaningful role in unraveling the story, but these little things may not be “cinematic” enough to make it into the film. But regardless of these complaints, many directors have succeeded in beautifully rendering books into films - while they’ve made certain changes, they’ve made sure that they stay true to the story. Here are 5 films that I think are just as good as the books they were based on.

  1. 1. "Brokeback Mountain"

    Ang Lee’s “Brokeback Mountain” was way ahead of its time. Based on a short story by Annie Proulx, this cowboy romance set in rural America snagged many prestigious awards - but was ridiculed by the general public. It did not get the same, unanimous love that “Carol” or “Call Me By Your Name” got, but it certainly is one of the best films that Hollywood has produced in the last few decades. This might be because the original form was a short story, but in my (unpopular) opinion the movie was better.

  2. 2. "The Godfather"

    This classic film is so popular that not many people even know that it’s based on a book, and the book is amazing! “The Godfather” by Mario Puzo follows the Corleone family as they start off as poor, Italian immigrants and become crime bosses in New York City’s underworld. In the film adaptation, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, there are several dramatic scenes, but instead of the non-stop violence you would expect from a film about the mafia, these scenes are meaningful, artistic, and powerful.

  3. 3. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower"

    This emotional coming-of-age tale might have an upper-hand in this line-up because the author who wrote the book also directed the movie - Stephen Chbosky. That might be why so much of the characters’ sensitivity translates onto the screen. A story about Charlie, an introvert who doesn’t fit in at school and his group of equally unpopular friends, will take you right back to your teenage years.

  4. 4. ""Blue is the Warmest Color

    My opinion might be a little biased on this one because I happened to see the film before I read the graphic novel. When the film was released it did land in some hot water. Many said that what writer Julie Maroh intended to be a tender, lesbian romance; was turned into a titillating spectacle meant for the male gaze by director Abdellatif Kechiche. I might be in the minority here but while the graphic novel is beautifully heartbreaking, the film really was a punch in the gut.

     

  5. 5. "The Great Gatsby"

    Out of all the film adaptations I have seen, I was the most nervous and excited to see director Baz Luhrmann’s rendition of “The Great Gatsby”. Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the novel is certainly the ultimate tale of an “American Dream” and one of my favorite books of all time. But this doomed love story is equally magical whether you see it on film or in the pages. While many film adaptations fail to cast the best actors who might fit the characters, Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan are the perfect Gatsby and Daisy. Luhrmann included a lot of subtle details like imagery and direct quotes from the book so he gets extra brownie points. When I read the book, I noticed Fitzgerald’s underlying social commentary a lot more. But the movie succeeds in capturing the grandeur of 1920s New York. Also, the soundtrack is flawless!