Literary novels have inspired Films and TV Drama for many years and will no doubt continue to do so in the future. But there is often some tension in waiting to see how a particular director adapts a beloved story, such as the Jane Austen novels. My favourite incarnation of Mr Darcy is still Colin Firth, and Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth in the same BBC production.
Last week, I went to watch the new Jane Eyre film at the cinema, apprehensive that this adaptation of one of my favourite classic novels would perhaps spoil the image of my Mr Rochester. It wasn’t that long ago since I watched a wonderful production of it on television (UK). In the event, I thought the film beautifully atmospheric and the characters very well portrayed. But... the love story between Mr Rochester and Jane just didn’t move me the way it should and I suspect it was because the film was too short to do it justice, unlike a TV drama that has weeks to develop the passion.
Many readers detest their favourite book being made into film, as it's seldom completely the same as the novel. I’ll just mention two films which I thought were better than the original novel. The first is The English Patient, a film I loved so much I took various people to see it so I can go more than once! Then I read the book and was thankful I’d seen the film first. Anthony Minghella took a rather difficult novel and produced a different, but more watchable storyline with gorgeous cinematography. The other is The Horse Whisperer. I loved the novel, but detested the ending as it seemed so out of character for the hero. But Robert Redford made a lovely film of the book and gave it a much more suitable and poignant ending.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if one of our books was one day made into a film? We can dream!
Dangerous Deceit, Champagne Books and Amazon