Only illness prevented me from seeing Gone Girl today. But did it actually save me the terrible horror of having the book spoiled?!?!?!!
I don’t know! Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn has been buzzing around for a while, and I have been cheerfully resigned to coming into contact with it in some form. And a couple of trailers and an interview with Rosamund Pike intrigued me enough to want to see the film.
So for tonight, I was ignoring the little part of me that always always wants to read the book first. Because it’s the original, and as a journey through a book is often more satisfying than a journey through a film. But now I’ve bought the kindle copy… and I’m determined to whizz through it before I hit the cinema.
I used to be a reader who bemoaned the changes necessary to any film adaptation, but it all changed! A module on Adaptation at university convinced me: film is different to writing. They have to be different. Of course, if it’s a bad film it’s a bad film – but the director has to try make a good film, not attempt a completely true representation of the book.
They are reinterpreting and re-imagining and creating from a stimulus – not just doing the same thing in a different way. And some of my favourite adaptations are the most different – Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice skews and butchers the plot but makes a stunning film, Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings brings colour and noise, richness and action to Tolkien’s world, whilst skipping some of the boring bits (sorry Mum).
But still. In a book, the world you step into is partly your own. The characters and setting come to life with a meld of the author’s words and your own imagination, the plot unfolds in your subconscious rather than being presented to you on a screen. And of course, it takes longer – drawing out the immersion in a new and exciting world, dragging out the tension.
I hear there are tensions, secrets and dramas a-plenty in Gone Girl, and I’m going for page before screen. Review coming soon!