I saw the movie "Twilight - Eclipse" over the weekend. A friend had recently introduced me to the Twilight series early this year and I enjoyed reading all the books. I had jumped over the bandwagon slightly late as movies for the first two books were already out by the time I started on the series. Hence 'Eclipse' was the first Twilight movie I saw. It was fun to watch the characters on the screen. Most of the cast matched the characters exactly except for "Jacob". The movie was quite loyal to the book and it was good to see all the picturesque locales, the soul-stirring romance and the antics of the vampires and werewolves in action. The hero - Edward, is definitely something a teen girl would fall for hard inspite of him being a vampire. I must admit that while reading the book, I failed to imagine what a teen young girl would see in a pale-faced youth to fall so desperately in love with him that she was willing to give up her humanity for him. But the movie, and the actor(!), made me believe its possible :)
Very few movies made based on books make one feel good though. I remember when I'd seen Gurinder Chaddha's 'Bride and Prejudice' based on Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice'. Now, the book is one of my favorites. Hence I had gone with a lot of expectations to see the movie especially since it starred Ms. Aishwarya Rai. However, I was so disgusted with the needless liberties taken with the plot and characters by Chaddha, that I re-read the entire novel again the very next day to take out the bad taste left in my mouth after watching the clumsy adaptation!
Some of the Harry Potter movies were remarkably faithful versions of the books, but others left out a lot of stuff in the interests of time.
The question remains then, should movies be made based on books at all? There are certain things that come out well only through the written word. And then there are others that can only be enjoyed by visual effects rather than reading about them. And of course, a vast majority of the public these days does not believe in reading anymore or they do not have the time for it. After all, who wants to read when the same can be seen as a movie while munching on a mountain of popcorn!
I am one for reading any day.