Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Book vs Film: 'One Day' by David Nicholls

I reviewed 'One Day' earlier this year and didn't give it the best rating. Click here to read aforementioned review. I guess my problem wasn't so much the story-line, but the expectations I had (or maybe it was the story-line...). All of this aside, I decided before watching the movie that I have accepted the story for what it is, and I want to compare the differences between the two without criticizing the story-line as I did in my review.
One of the things I think I liked the most about the book was Emma Morley. She is one of my favourite characters of all time. I think that Anne Hathaway did a great job of playing Emma. Anne is one of my favourite actors (so another favourite) and I think people like her and relate to her (the roles she plays tend to be down-to-earth roles). Emma Morley is a character that people might not have liked, so getting Anne to play the role definitely helps people to find Emma likeable. I actually liked her British accent and think it was credible enough (contrary to popular belief). I think a lot of people either didn't realise or forgot that Anne's character is not as wealthy as Dex's, and that because of this she has a different accent.
Visually Anne wasn't a fantastic representation of Emma. I don't think this is Anne's fault. I blame the wardrobe department and hair / make-up department. She had the wrong hair-styles at different times in the story (compared to the novel). And, she didn't seem frumpy (at all) in the beginning (as described in the book). And, while you can't really be "bigger" without putting on weight, I think the wardrobe department could have feigned this with some less flattering clothing choices in a smaller size (well, hey it works for a lot of people I see in my local shopping centre).
Like most book-to-movie adaptations I felt that there were missing pieces. I guess there have to be because of the time limit. However, it really irks me when these missing pieces are parts of the story that I really enjoyed. In the movie there is no mention of "the Rachel" (there is no Rachel in the movie to even mention), there is no mention of Emma calling Dex's dad a fascist and well, they were the main ones, but there were a few other ones I missed that I think added to the story.
In the novel version of the story I didn't like Dex much. The small portion of me that thought he was suitable for Emma was positioned to think that way because of Emma's desire to be with him. In the movie though, I thought he seemed more "troubled" than "trouble". Some of the parts of the story (where he was sleazy) were left out (the only time I thanked the director mentally for the missing pieces). In the  movie I thought he was a good guy at heart (well he was good in the book too, but in the book he also seemed really stupid and careless) and I actually felt sorry for him.
I thought the soundtrack and "feel" of the movie were things that really drew me in. They definitely brought something different to the story-line and made it into something different than I expected. I think it was the atmosphere the director created (and the fact that Dex was more likeable) that helped me connect emotionally with the story. During the movie I actually cried, but when reading the novel I just felt annoyed and shocked during the same part of the story.
Overall, I think I liked the film better. I'm a little annoyed that the director didn't include some of those missing pieces or encourage the wardrobe department to dress Anne(and do her hair) more accurately (like the book). Still, I did prefer the film because Emma was more likeable (if that's possible) as was Dexter and therefore (alongside the soundtrack and atmosphere) I was able to connect (more) emotionally with the story and characters. Even though I preferred the movie I recommend reading the story on paper first.
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