Adaptation Problems

        When one is creating a movie or play version of a book, it is never made as an exact copy. Changes have to be made for one reason or another, which can make the film a better version, or make it worse. One problem in adapting book to film can be finding the right actors to portray the characters in a book. If one does not find the right actors, the mood of the book will not be properly conveyed and the characters themselves may come off as entirely different from what the writer of the book had envisioned.

        In Joseph Losey’s 1973 adaptation of A Doll’s House, the lead actors, Jane Fonda and David Warner, did not do as good a job conveying the characters in the book as did Claire Bloom and Anthony Hopkins in Patrick Garland’s 1973 adaptation. I felt that Claire Bloom was more convincing and cared more for her husband than Jane Fonda did. However, I felt that Edward Fox and Delphine Seyrig did a better job in their portrayals of Nils Krogstad and Kristine Linde, respectively, than Denholm Elliot and Anna Massey. Massey and Elliott both fell short of their character mark. Elliot seemed more of a nerd or a wimp than the bully he was supposed to be. and Massey was very monotone and seemingly unfeeling. It appeared as though she did not care for her role.

        Another problem screenwriters may have in their adaptations is showing all the special effects, especially in movies that were made before the twenty-first century and before the help of computer simulations and green screens. Many science fiction and action book adaptations especially would have had this problem. Comparing the special effects of the 1970/1980 star wars movies to the ones made in the 2000’s shows the difference in special effects of the times. For those adaptations made in the 30’s or 40’s, the ability to reproduce special effects would have been even lower.

        Conveying the overall mood of the book, using setting, characters, dialogue and the original plot, may be one of the hardest things to do. Everyone may view the book differently, from the writer, to screenwriter, director, characters and even the audience. Whether they are trying and simply fail to replicate the book, or want to use the plot, but change up the storyline and dialogue, usually all involved in the book and production (writer vs. screenwriter) will not be satisfied with the result. Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight is an example of this. All of the series’ fans were really excited about the book becoming a movie until it happened. A majority of those fans believe that the movie pales in comparison to the book(s).

Sarah Verive