Films adapted from a book that I loved, Cloud Atlas, and a book that I liked very much, Life of Pi, are both currently in cinemas and I’m more than a little bit apprehensive about seeing them. As I’ve mentioned before on the blog, one has to be very careful about seeing films of books you love as it can potentially ruin the original story.
I thought that given the Russian-doll structure of the novel, Cloud Atlas would be nigh on impossible to film. I’m also unsure about some of the casting choices, in particular Halle Berry who doesn’t seem to have been in a good film since Monster’s Ball. From the American reviews that I have seen it would appear that critics are very divided; The New Yorker review panned the film while The Huffington Post raved about it and the New York Times was somewhere in between. I think I’ll wait until some people I know have seen it and then decide. One thing’s for sure, I’m not going to have my favourite novel of David Mitchell’s ruined forevermore by a bad movie!
Life of Pi however seems to have united the critics in rapture. Everyone is saying that the film is a must-see in 3D, the kind of film that this technology is made for. Ang Lee has apparently created a faithful interpretation of a much loved classic story and it’s on my list of movies to see this month. (And as an aside, have you ever seen this wonderful letter written by Barack Obama to the writer of Life of Pi, Yann Martel? What a gentleman he is!)