Thursday, January 29, 2009

Of Books And Movies

Snow Owl Eye
"The book is better than the movie."
How many times have you heard this from bibliophiles?
I have heard this from so many people that I am not sure if it is a genuine statement or just a pseudo-intellectual posturing.

I generally stick to non-fiction. So I do not get much chance to show off the book-is-better-than-the-movie. Besides I do not get to see that many movies ...

I am massive fan of the Harry Potter series. When reading non-fiction gets a bit boring, what do I turn to? Right! Harry Potter. I must have read all the seven books at least 3-4 times, if not more. I think J K Rowling is a genius and richly deserves all the accolades and rewards.

I started reading Harry Potter after the Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban, the 3rd in the series, after Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone, and Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. Or was it after the 2nd in the series? Never mind. I was introduced to it kind of late. Very late.

At first I was a little skeptic of the marketing hoo-haa that surrounded the series. Then my son dragged me to the movie Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone (for some reason the name is slightly changed, must be a Hollywood thing). I was simply blown away by the magic.

The very next day, I purchased all the three (two?) books that were available.

Today, I have all the books of the Harry Potter series (pre-ordered, mind you) and DVD's of all the movies released till date. And I am eagerly waiting for the movie version of Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince. I read somewhere that there will be two movies based on the final book, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. So the magic continues for some more time.

So what do I think of the Harry Potter movies now that I have read the books?

I think both are great. The books are fantastic. The movie are great too. It is like having two stories with the same name.

Any one - and I know there are millions - who has read Harry Potter as thoroughly as I have, will acknowledge that the beauty of the book is in the tiny details that Rowling has so skilfully woven in the story. It is almost like serendipity. You read a bit in, say, the 4th book and you suddenly remember that the thread actually starts in the first one. Or, you start re-reading the first book and you realize that something that you did not pay much attention to in your first reading starts making sense now, as the thread continues in the 5th book. There are several such.

The movie obviously cannot reproduce the nuances in the book, but they are mind blowing nonetheless. It is fun to see your imagination come alive on the screen.


I love them both ... the books and the movies. Both are magic. And this is applies to all well made movies and well written books.


And I hope Rowling returns soon with something else. I really miss Harry Potter.

I read long ago that she was working on some crime novel. With her intelligence and knack of springing surprises, I cannot wait for that to be published.

Picture courtesy: Herman Brinkman

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2 comments:

Angel said...

--I read long ago that she was working on some crime novel. With her intelligence and knack of springing surprises, I cannot wait for that to be published.--

..wow.. thanks for sharing.. i'd absolutely watch out for it too.. ^^

ARJuna said...

---Then my son dragged me to the movie Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone (for some reason the name is slightly changed, must be a Hollywood thing---
Well just for your info, actually the Book was released in the UK as The Philosopher's Stone(the one that we know of) and in US as The Sorcerer's Stone(since the movie is from Hollywood i.e the US hence they use the US release name)

Even small portions and terms are different between the UK/US version. For eg. You remember the Troll that runs amok through Hogwarts in the 1st book(UK ver) that is mentioned as an Ogre in the US version of the same.

I agree with you on the "threads of continuity" which is unique to Rowlings books. Though I still think that the books are better than the movies.

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