Can movies and books be friends?


How many times have I heard a tirade how a movie ruined a book, how book was better, or movie was better than a book. Let me take my words back, I don’t remember hearing anyone say that movie was better than a book.

Honestly, and please don’t hate me for it, but I do. I truly preferred Baz Lurhmann’s The Great Gatsby to the read itself. I am an avid classical lit fan. Though the life they depict sometimes seems more idealistic than needed, I still prefere that happy tale (once in a while). Most of the books, however slow paced they are, manage to get you to empathize with the moods and expectations of the heroes of the time. However, that is something I never experienced with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s or T. Capote’s creations, especially Breakfast at Tiffany’s and other short stories, The Great Gatsby added to this group as well. I agree that Jay Gatsby is a truly multilayerd character with sad and unenviable destiny, however F. Scott Fitzgerald simply never persuades me to care about Jay. Luckily Leonardo DiCaprio did, and I will forever remain indebted to him for bringing some stirrings in my heart for the mysterious Mr. Gatsby.

Overall I seem to have gotten off my initial purpose quite much. From the very beginning I intended to write about a book and a movie – Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (Patrick Süskind). I read the book way before the movie was released and I imediately favoured it. If you haven’t read it – its about a man, a “nose”, who is seeking to create a scent for himself by stripping others of theirs. When reading the book I could never imagine it could be made into a decent movie, for how can you show the pleasure of smelling stone, glass, wood or nothing. But oh it was done, and it was done good. Ben Whishaw (seen in Layer Cake, I’m Not There, Skyfall) does a brilliant work potraying the major protagonist/antagonist (depends on point of view) – Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. He manages to capture the loneliness, isolation, angst and resolution of the character to a perfection. By watching him, you understand the enamour he feels for the plums girl (or her essence), his dread for not having his own mark in the world and his determination to create the perfect mask of humanity. I would definitely recommend to follow Mr. Whishaw’s work, for you will have a pleasure of finding a brilliant acting professional with (hopefully) promising future.

The ending of the movie deserves its own praise. It is something I truly wanted to see visually and it did not dissapoint. It all ends where it all began, in the same shocking manner.

If you have a few hours to spare, give the movie a chance to show itself, if you have a few days, please don’t miss a chance to be enriched by the book.