Is it possible to take the soul out of a novel and insert it into its film adaptation?
Andre Bazin’s article, ‘Adaptation, or the cinema as digest’ argues that a novel cannot truly be adapted adequately in film form. We had a discussion in class about novels that we have read that have been or, are going to be adapted into a film. Most of us agreed that we feel like we MUST see this film that is coming from a novel that we love so much yet at the same time we feel like it just cannot be of the same quality of the novel. Bazin states similarly that, “I (he) suffered when I saw Devil in the Flesh, because I know Raymond Radiguet’s book; the spirit and “style” of that book had somehow been betrayed” (Bazin 25). This made me think of that discussion we had in class. We had discussed the new adaptation of The Great Gatsby and that, although a lot of us feel it probably won’t do justice to that book we love so much, we will probably go and see it out of sheer curiosity.; we want to know how this book will look to us on screen in a different artistic form.
It is always a difficult choice for me to decide on whether I would want to see the movie that is an adaptation of a book I love. For example, when I heard that there was going to be a film version of one of my favorite books, The Lovely Bones, I thought: “How on earth are they going to recreate a novel, especially with such subject manner, into a film?” I contemplated if I would want to watch the movie because I felt like they truly could not replicate this particular novel to the screen. I reluctantly decided to go and see the movie out of sheer curiosity. I ended up being extremely disappointed even though I knew a lot of the content in the novel would have to be cut out, I didn’t think that certain aspects of the novel would be completely changed. I feel like I have to agree with Bazin’s argument that the true soul of the novel cannot be completely given to the film adaptation.
I have to admit, I fell into this whole, Fifty Shades of Grey novel craze and when I had heard that this extremely provocative novel would be put onto the screen, I couldn’t help but wonder, “How could they possible render this onto the screen without completely cutting out pivotal parts of the novel?” I feel like the novel will be completely butchered and ruined, because a lot of it is not appropriate for main stream movies, but I do not think that it will stop me from being there opening night…