How people criticize the NOT so proper translation of Books into Films…

I am here in a Literary activity now, listening to people talk about how books really do NOT translate into films and how film directors/producers try to jot in commercial elements to give it the sense of “non-existent” aesthetics, according to the detractors. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the lack of understanding people actually have about the whole metamorphosis. While films are mainly made for a rather commercial set of Audience, Books are for everyone and they transcend geographical boundaries and even socio-cultural-affairs (at least the majority of times). But, how fair or unfair is to compare them both? If books can’t be translated appropriately, why do they make an attempt? Should they be appreciated for the effort they put in? Or should they just bear the wounds because they made an attempt, terrific or otherwise? Here’s my take on it. Read on .. .

I remember Alfonso Cuaron’s interview in 1998 after he had made the film, “Great Expectations” – an attempt (perhaps futile) to project Dickens’ Great Expectations where in he retorted, “I haven’t made this film because it’s a famous book or because it’s got commercial value. But I have made this because I love the book and I simply adore what was told in it”. It only comes to us as a surprise that Fransesco Clemente offered his paintings or sketches for free. Don’t these guys deserve to be respected a bit more than what they are? It’s not commercialization after all, it’s beyond it. It’s the purity they fell for and worked for. It’s very unfortunate to impose the elitist values of canonical literature on a film, because they’re two different things. Movies cater to a general audience while books are for sections and communities. I am not in support of every producer/director who tries to make a film outta every goddamn book. Neither, I’m in total support of the detractors who criticize them till hell freezes over.

The problem doesn’t lie in either of them. The problem lies within us. We tend to receive or contemplate an artistic piece in a single minded perspective. We tend to put in all of our expectations into it, in fact read/watch/see too much into it. I think that’s the problem. We tend to forget that the grassroots of Art lies in creativity. So, what is the problem if a director/producer changes the script by a bit to make it acceptable? Why should that not be respected? If you don’t like it, keep it to yourself. How can anyone on this face of Earth, do some kind of Hasty generalization putting everyone into the same bracket saying no one appreciates this film that was translated from some “xxxxx” book? How right is that?

Art is always relative, even Literature. The plurality of the concept is beyond debate. Not everything could be bracketed along the similar lines as “The Monalisa” or “The Hamlet”. We have to come out of the zone and understand or rather ‘super’vent (or circumvent?) the behavioral troubles we have in conceptualizing an artistic piece. Perhaps, that would help us a little in understanding the major difference. In fact, the difference is more cultural than social. Perhaps, movies should be made immediately after the book is released. The waiting time is directly proportional to the quality “perceivable” by the audience. Movies traditionally have been the symbolic exemplifiers of commercialization while books are different. It’s very important to understand this difference.

However, with out I sounding like an imposer, I would be glad to see people clearly dissect the difference between both the genres of Art and appreciate them the way they should be, more than correlating them (which we can’t help of course) and doing a meta-physical dissection on it.

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