Book-to-movie adaptations that got it just right

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Remember that feeling of reading those memorable lines from your favourite part in a book? You revisit them time and again, and every time you read them, you stop for a moment, close your eyes and imagine how the characters would say it, imagining yourself as a part of that distant world, dreaming of every nuance. You see every detail in your head, and feel every emotion. It’s as if it’s your very own movie. Your version of what the book would be like on the celluloid.

The attempt to transcend the magic of books onto the big screens has been a persistent effort on man’s part. Some have failed, whereas some have succeeded. The ones who managed to hit all the right notes have been the ones who succeeded in illustrating every nuance on screen, capturing the very soul of the written word with intricacy. Over the years, there have been many books-to-movie adaptations which have entertained and thrilled the fans, worldwide, and here’s a look at some of those adaptations that got it just right.

 Lord of the Rings

Very few could match up to the sheer brilliance that J.R.R Tolkien is. The huge expectations that comes with the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, courtesy its million fans, made the job harder for director, Peter Jackson, when he stepped up to bring the distinguished series to the cinema. Result – the fans were far from being disappointed! Jackson managed to take the already brilliant story and turned it into his own unique mythos, a visual representation of everything that Tolkien portrayed through his words. The Lord of the Rings is undoubtedly one of the most tremendous book-to-movie adaptations of the century.

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Harry Potter

For all the Potter heads out there, it is truly hard to imagine a life before ‘Harry Potter’. After all, who doesn’t a like a dash of magic in this otherwise redundant world? Written by Joanne Rowling under the pen name of J.K. Rowling, the humongous success of the books ensured a sure shot positive response for the movie series. The movies left no stone unturned in living up to the Potter mania. It successfully managed to capture the soul of the books, and instil in its audiences the sense of awe and wonder that is now synonymous with ‘Harry Potter’. By far, one of the most memorable adaptations of the century, Harry Potter continues to enchant the muggle world.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

A perfect movie for a perfect book, Robert Mulligan’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s classic ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ is nothing short of cinematic magic. The scrupulously honest, highly respected lawyer Atticus Finch is magnificently embodied by Gregory Peck, who also won an Academy award for the role. The movie not only bagged an Academy award for Best Actor, but was also honoured with Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Art Direction. The movie seamlessly depicts the true essence of the book, and one can’t help but connect to the beautiful depiction of tolerance and compassion in the face of hatred and violence.

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Bridget Jone’s Diary

Termed by fans world over as the “ultimate Sunday night movie”, ‘Bridget Jone’s Diary’, originally penned by Helen Fielding, has been seen and read by all numerous times. And the best part – they’d happily do it again! Modern reinterpretations of the classic Pride and Prejudice, the book and its movie adaptation have been adored by all. With the genius casting of Colin Firth as Mark Darcy, who also coincidentally played Mr. Darcy in the BBC’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, and every woman’s favourite, Hugh Grant, the adaptation have made a special mark for itself! With heart melting romantic moments, and brilliant comedy, we simply can’t get enough of ‘Bridget Jone’s Diary’!

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James Bond

Let’s face it. Which woman hasn’t secretly wanted the suave Mr. Bond all to herself? Which man hasn’t desperately wanted to get his hands on the super-fast sports cars, babes and all those uber-cool gadgets? The debonair Mr. Bond was as popular in the books as he is in the movies. Ian Fleming’s Bond book series had the readers hooked, and its celluloid depiction through the years has only made the franchise bigger than it was. A man whose sophistication leaves men and women awestruck, the movies leave fans worldwide asking for more. Much, much more. ‘James Bond’ truly taps into our desire for adventure and adrenaline.

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The Fault in our Stars

Based on the immensely popular novel by John Green, The Fault in our Stars, directed by Josh Boone, was one of the most awaited book-to-movie adaptations. The heart wrenching, young adult novel had the fans falling head over heels for its touching tale of true love. The movie stayed true to the “no sugar coated” nuance that John Green is famous for, and was appreciated around the globe by critics and fans for its great casting as well as screenplay. The movie, just like the book, took the audiences through a spectrum of emotions and managed to leave us all overwhelmed.

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The Penguin India Blog

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