Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Quiet moments

When books get adapted into films, sometimes I find myself cringing. If I've never read the book in question, then fine. Whatever. I'll never know the difference. But if I've read a book and loved it, then I am usually afraid of the movie version. Part of me really wants to see it -- after all, who doesn't want to "see" what's only been imagined? But another part of me truly dreads the film version.

Because, more often than not, some of the magic (or all of it) has been wiped away. The scenes I held close to my heart aren't there. The lead actors don't seem to have the chemistry I envisioned in my head. Something extraneous gets added in to make the film more "action-packed" or more "marketable to the masses." Or everything feels rushed rather than fluid. For me, there's something special about the transitions and passage of time in certain books -- elements that tend to get chewed up and garbled in many film versions.

This is not to say that I loathe all adaptations! I love (and own) Pride & Prejudice with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen (whose last name my fingers very persistently keep trying to misspell!). The movie was beautifully filmed, and it felt streamlined, not chopped. It had what I like to call "quiet moments." And in my mind, films -- action, drama, romance -- always need quiet moments. Moments where they're not jumping from plot point to plot point. I do enjoy when books and films race along and make you feel breathless ... but I need my quiet moments!

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