Saturday, March 17, 2007

Favorite Film Adaptations of Books

From Literate Kitten’s Thoughts for Thursday.

Not Thursday, but I’m always a little behind.

1. The English Patient [Directed by Anthony Minghella]

It was the film where I had my crush on Kristin Scott Thomas and Ralph Fiennes. Thomas was radiant in the movie, the exquisite English Rose in the desert. Her character Katherine Clifton fell for Almasy’s intensity. And why wouldn’t she? I did. The man spoke a thousand tongues with his gaze: a vocabulary of anger, heat, pain and passion. But when he does speak, it could break your heart.

"Every night I cut out my heart. But in the morning it was full again."

But she had to die; she was not a flower of the desert.

When I finally read The English Patient, I was breathless with the poetry of Ondaatje. Most amazing is how film and novel complement each other, how Minghella used lines from the novel and breathed new meaning into them. In the novel, Almasy spoke of a cactus known among the desert Bedouin. The Bedouin would cut out the heart of this cactus, and in the morning it will be filled with drinkable water. Minghella took these lines, gave them to Almasy once more - but this time as metaphor for his love.

2. Trainspotting [Directed by Danny Boyle]

"Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a starter home. Choose dental insurance, leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose your future. But why would anyone want to do a thing like that?"

Ewan McGregor's voice-over sums up the spirit of this nihilistic story of Sickboy, Renton, Spud and Begbie. All low-life losers and except for Begbie (who is addicted to violence) – all junkies who will trade their mothers for a hit. Anyone else had problem understanding their Scottish accent (I assume it’s Scottish)? But to be fair, by the 8th viewing, their accent starts to make sense. It was a joyride, their antics, their downward spiral into heroine-fueled self-destruction. When I finally read the book I had as much fun reading it aloud with the odd accent. The accent – that’s the only way to have fun reading it.

3. Silence of the Lambs [Directed by Jonathan Demme]

One of my favourite movie.

Jodie Foster always seems smarter than the men in her films - but Silence of the Lambs is probably the only movie that gave a male counterpart that was convincingly superior in his intellect. I have never seen such great chemistry between a man and a lesbian - which goes to show the sexiest part of the human body is the brain.

Anthony Hopkins embodied the chilling superiority of Dr Hannibal Lecter from Thomas Harris's novel.

2 comments:

LK said...

These are really interesting choices. I never read Silence of the Lambs, nor did I read English Patient. (But Ralph Fiennes, man, what a hunk.)

Dark Orpheus said...

I re-read English Patient and watched the DVD side-by-side last year. It was astounding how well they compliment each other.