The impact that films have in our lives is unlike any other. Years, or even decades, can pass but the learnings and realizations you amass from a film stays with you for a lifetime. We have seen our favorite books come to life in the big screen throughout the years, and it’s still exciting to hear about upcoming book-to-film adaptations. Unraveling a story through each medium may be different, but both share the same magical experience nevertheless. Here are five book-to-film adaptations that teaches us valuable life lessons:
5. The Kite Runner
The heartbreakingly beautiful novel talks about loyalty and how the choices we make ultimately determine what kind of people we are. The story is set before and after the fall of Khabul, and follows the unlikely friendship between a wealthy Afghan boy, Amir, portrayed by Khalid Abdalla (Green Zone) in the film adaptation, and the son of his father’s servant, Hassan, portrayed by Ahman Khan Mahmoodzada, who Amir later discovers is his half-brother. The film gives life to the painful storyline that starts off with a beautiful friendship that was ruined by a devastating betrayal, which led to a life that was tormented by guilt and repentance. We can fall many times in life, what matters is how many times we are able to get up. Amir wronged Hassan in the worst way possible, and attempts to do good through his late friend/brother’s son, Sohrab, portrayed by Ali Danish Bakhtayari. It’s a story about second chances, and how we can try to redeem our past mistakes by being more empathetic human beings, and living for a higher purpose than ourselves.
The gripping novel’s film adaptation bagged major awards during the 2016 awards season, with its lead star, Brie Larson (Captain Marvel) winning Best Actress in the 88th Academy Awards. The story follows a young woman, Joy “Ma” Newson, portrayed by Larson and her five-year-old son, Jack, portrayed by Jacob Tremblay (Wonder), who was born in captivity. Readers and viewers were brought on a captivating journey that covered Ma’s kidnapping, and her and Jack’s captivity and escape. The story tackled how Jack faces life in the outside world for the first time, and how there is light at the end of a very dark and long tunnel. Traumatic experiences can stay with us for a long time. The support we get from family and friends, as well as the willpower and strength to move forward are the keys to surviving the harsh realities life sometimes throws at us.
3. Little Women
The novel by Louisa May Alcott has been adapted to the big screen one too many times already. We have heard and seen the story of the March sisters time and again yet we still look forward to seeing the literary classic come to life each time. The story revolves around the lives of the four March sisters – Amy, Jo, Beth, and Meg. The novel was ahead of its time as it centered on women empowerment, while also promoting the importance of honesty, hard work, and self-worth. It’s a family drama that has transcended generations, and will continue to do so for the years to come.
2. Fight Club
The bestselling novel by Chuck Palahniuk was turned into a cult classic that is still being quoted up to this day. The story follows an unnamed narrator, portrayed by Edward Norton (Moonrise Kingdom), an unsatisfied white-collar worker who lives a mundane life. He meets a strange and free-spirited soap salesman named Tyler Durden, portrayed by Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), who changes his life. The two join forces to form an underground Fight Club wherein other grown and unsatisfied men can fight each other, with the only rules being not to talk about or even mention Fight Club to anyone else. The storyline covers how people leading unfulfilled and boring lives would jump at the chance of something more exciting. The film’s unnamed narrator may have found a new escape in the form of Tyler and Fight Club, but this did not last for long. The film shows us how basic human nature can be relentless in its search for a perfect life. It’s important to remember to keep your head above water, as the things you own can end up owning you.
1. The Life of Pi
Apart from the out-of-this-world visuals, the film adaptation of the philosophical novel has garnered critical acclaim and global attention. It follows the story of a sixteen-year-old Indian boy named Pi Patel, portrayed by Suraj Sharma (Homeland), who survives 227 days after a shipwreck while being stranded on a lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal Tiger. The film explores spirituality and philosophy, as it covers the value of perseverance no matter how hard the circumstances are. Pi never gave up hope, and just kept his eyes on surviving the harsh conditions. Obstacles will always come our way, and our mindset can either make or break us. Nobody ever said life would be easy, but having a glass half-full perspective will make the journey all the more worthwhile.