Top 10 Movie Adaptations of Books

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Books are magical. They possess the power to transport us to a new place, a new world, where anything and everything is possible, a world with endless possibilities and realities. Such is the magic of words as they are woven into a book, making it memorable and something we shall never forget. And what happens when these exquisite words materialize in front of our eyes in the shape of movies? Happiness, joy, exuberance. The joy of seeing our favorite books turned into movies befitting our imagination is beyond words. While some movies get it wrong, there are scores of them that do get it right. A very apt example for which would be Harry Potter. This book series by J.K Rowling is loved by all, and so are the movies. The movies give a tangible face to all the action, drama, romance and emotions seen and felt through the books. So here is a list dedicated to all those movies that managed to capture our imagination and bring it out on the big screen.

10) Les Misérables:

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Considered as one of the greatest novels of the 19th century, the story written by Victor Hugo revolves around a set of characters whose lives are intermingled and the emotional journey that these characters undergo as their life stories reach a dramatic conclusion at the June Rebellion in Paris. Since its creation, this novel has been popularised through numerous adaptations on television, stage, musicals and even films. It has been adapted into films thirteen times. (Guess that number isn’t so unlucky after all) With the latest film adaptation being the 2012 musical version directed by Tim Hooper, which was critically acclaimed and won four academy awards.

9) The Notebook:

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Somewhere, sometime, we’ve all heard the heart wrenching story of The Notebook. A couple madly in love with each other, who overcome all efforts to be together, but alas! Only to be separated by the wife’s dementia. Yet they remain devoted to each other. This beautiful novel by Nicholas Sparks that has the ability to make us cry, was turned into a movie in 2004, making the scenes much more powerful and potent, and definitely making us cry. The lead pair of Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams was praised for their intense chemistry, and the film received positive responses. To this date it remains one of the cult romantic movies; a hot favorite to be watched on Valentine’s Day.

8) The Devil wears Prada:

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This movie starring Meryl Streep as the devil boss and Anne Hathaway as her do eyed assistant, is based on the novel of the same name by Lauren Weisberger. This movie was critically appreciated by all for its accurate description of the fashion industry, and the tongue in cheek humor the movie possessed. The ending of the movie was slightly altered than that of the novel, with the novel ending with Andrea moving back to her parents’ house, and surviving on the money that the sales of her Paris clothes bring her, till seventeen magazine decided to publish one of her short fiction story she’s been working on.

7) Pride and Prejudice:

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This book by Jane Austen is universally loved by all, for its flawless character description and the humour in which the characters end up together. It has been one of the hot favorite amongst the classics to be adapted into films and television series with one of the most acclaimed adaptations being the 2005 movie. Starring Matthew McFadyen, as he brings to life the snobbish, arrogant, proud, yet caring, sweet and heartfelt  Fitzwilliam Darcy and Keira Knightley portraying the head strong and  compassionate Elizabeth Bennet.

6) The Great Gatsby:

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This novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925 that explores the concept of the American Dream as seen and perceived by the various characters, questioning the importance of it all; has since been adapted into a movie five times. With the latest one, releasing in 2013 directed by  Baz Luhrmann starring Leonardo Dicaprio and Tobey Maguire. Though thoroughly appreciated, the movies have always faltered to capture and portray the true essence of the scenes and characters as described by Fitzgerald. The movies come off as looking grand and perfecting the period and its ways, in terms of style and clothes, but sadly the characteristics and humanistic feel of the characters often gets lost in the process.  I guess sometimes the pen is truly mightier.

5) Lincoln Lawyer:

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It’s a 2011 American thriller movie starring Matthew McConaughey as the defense lawyer Mickey Haller. It’s based on the same novel by Michael Connelly a well known American crime writer. Haller believes he has gotten the case of his life in his rich client Louis Roulet, but all might not be as he thinks, and his client might in fact be more sinister and smart than he realizes. The book makes for an interesting read and is a sure shot page turner. The movie too manages to give justice to the story and Mathew McConaughey gets inside the skin of the character to convincingly play the lawyer. A definitely must read and must watch if your seeking some thrill with a plot twist.

4) Fight Club:

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First rule of fight club: You don’t talk about fight club.

Well sorry for breaking the rule, but not many people know that this cult film is actually based on the novel of the same name by Chuck Palhaniuk. The plot follows the story of an unnamed protagonist, the everyman as he breaks away from his daily mundane life and in doing so develops a dissociative personality. Yes, you heard me right. This movie has a lot more than just gory fight sequences and a shirtless Brad Pitt, but is a coming of age film that rebels against consumerism and what is considered by society an idealistic life. It’s a complex dark book/movie with many layers to it. Once you read it or watch it, you’re definitely going to become a diehard fan. I speak from experience.

3) Limitless:

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It’s a mystery thriller movie starring Bradley Cooper as Eddie Morra who becomes dependant on drug which enhances his abilities and heightening his intellectual, creative and learning powers. It’s based on the 2001 book called The Dark Fields by Irish writer Alan Glyn, who later re-released it in 2011 under the title Limitless to coincide with the movie adaptation of the book.

2) Shutter Island:

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It’s a 2010 American psychological thriller film directed and starring the hit duo of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo Dicaprio.  It’s based on the 2003 bestselling novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane and published by Harper Collins. It’s well known for its plot twists and the questionable ending. As to what I mean when I say a questionable ending, is something you’ll have to find out by reading the book or watching the movie; because trust me, it’s one of the best parts.

1) Perks of being a Wallflower:

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It’s a coming of age book which follows the life of Charlie a wallflower (socially inept and a shy person) as he tries to find a way through high school all the while battling his inner demons and issues. This book is beautifully written and gives you a good look into the mind of Charlie. This bestseller by Stephen Chbosky was adapted into a film of the same name and directed by Chbosky himself. A beautifully depicted and narrated story, it rightfully earns the number one spot on the list today.

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