There was an idea stuck on my head in this week. I went with some of my friends in the theater and we saw a movie. The movie was "Ana Karenina" inspired by the book of Leo Tolstoy. As the movie started I started to dislike it. The choice of the actors was awful. I want to speak for the main character Ana interpreted by Keira Knightley. She tried to emphasize the gestures of nobility of that time but she looked ridiculous. She was about to smile in an attractive way and what she does, a duck-face. It is not personal but just to introduce my idea.
As I see today many books are ruined by these "post-modernism" movies To me that I have read plenty of books who are being today movies is a big delusion from the cinematography. They keep ruining books. I can't say that all movies are rubbish but those who makes millions of dollars of income aren't that satisfying. My friends I wanted to share my opinion and to know yours about these kind of abomination.
I remember seeing the first part of the film adaptation of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. The book was beautifully written, sending the reader into a deep, dark jungle, with strange things lurking about just beyond sight; terrible atrocities, lazy, depressing cruelty upon an undeserving people. When Marlow spoke, I felt that I, too, was on the River Thames with him, listening to him in that darkness.
To say the film was a poor representation of the book is a vast understatement.
Yeah the same idea got stuck at my head. They spend a lot of money and work in a poor representation.
In drama studies, one of the things they stress to both the actors and the playwrighting students is that the theatre of the imagination is always greater than anything that can be put on stage or screen, and it is essentially true. One can always imagine things that are hindered by something in the material world. That's why cinema and theatre are never as good as the book.
I'm not sure if you've seen the discussion we're having on the changes from book to movie in John Carter, but it's much along the lines of what you're talking about. It's not an identical subject because we're talking about recent film incarnations of pulp novels, but you might find it interesting. I started it because of my frustration with the modernization and softening up the protagonist. Some of the responses had some great insight.
At times though, modernization and anachronistic behavior is what some people want. My darling wife for example, is a middle ages fan and loves the old Heath Ledger movie; A Knight's Tale. It's not a bad flick, and it's anachronisms are intentional. A much more fitting view of Knights in action however, was the movie Ironclad, which she didn't make it past the first few uses of that Zwiehander.
As Shields said above, the real flavor of any book is bound to be altered to introduce it to a wider film audience. It is, after all, a money making industry, and they are keeping the concerns of the average viewer (who probably hasn't read the associated book). Thus the "action" added to the Hobbit, and the songs and feasts taken out of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. They were popped in, or taken out to make would hopefullly be a better movie.
In short, some of us will always be dissapointed with certain incarnations of book to film translation. We're at the mercy of the director and cast to bring our stories to life. That being said, thanks for the warning about Karenina, Keira was the crush of my misspent youth, I wouldn't want the duckface to ruin her!