Sunday, June 16, 2013

Books to Movies: The Princess Bride

Adam C. Zern has some thoughts  on the film adaptation of The Princess Bride:

"The Princess Bride is a beloved film for a lot of people.  I just didn't get it for a long, long time.  It seemed like a silly fantasy-comedy-romance that clearly had an endearing personality, but nothing that would motivate me to label it as a 'classic.'  But then I read the book that was its inspiration and my attitude changed.

The Princess Bride the book and film is a rare situation in which the two enhance the experiences of each other.  Often times we segregate books from their film adaptations.  It's not uncommon to talk about the book as being better for this or that reason or the film as being better, think Jaws, or at least different, think The Hunger Games, for this or that reason.  It's tough for me to think about The Princess Bride the film without the book in mind and vice versa.

What the film and book versions of The Princess Bride capture flawlessly is a feeling.  I think that feeling is what I was missing before I read book.  Once I had done so, I realized how adroitly the film translated the book's whimsical and entertaining tone, and I could watch the film from a new perspective that gave me the secret to that film I had apparently been missing before. 

I'm a big fan of The Princess Bride now, both the film and the book.  I think it's one of those rare cases in which I greatly prefer the existence of both portrayals whereas in many other cases I would be perfectly content with either the film or the book.  (The Prestige is a good example of this; I would be perfectly happy with only the film).  Considering most of the people I know who have seen the film and love it but have not read the book, I'm always eager to encourage them to do so because I think by doing so the film would be endeared to them even more.  And that's not a bad thing."

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