Monday, August 06, 2007

To read or not to read

I am in a big dilemma.

It has always been more fun reading the book than watching a movie based on it. Very few movies have been as much fun ("LOTR trilogy" and "The Namesake") .

Now, should I read the book before or after watching the movie?

When you watch a movie after reading its source, knowing the story (and the ending) in advance does take away some fun and excitement. (Although I wouldn't say this is the reason why I didn't like any of the Harry Potter movies. They were simply bad.)

On the other hand, reading the book afterwards limits your imagination (especially if the movie turns out to be good!!). Although I read "The Namesake" before watching the movie, Tabu was my Ashima throughout since I knew by then that she was playing the role. Also sometimes, the movie is so good that you don't feel like reading the book - a reason why I haven't read "Thank You for Smoking" or "The Devil wears Prada".

I should also confess that I prefer watching the movie if the book has a lot of action sequences (e.g.: "The Bourne" series and some Tom Clancy/Grisham novels).

So, may be it all depends on the genre. May be Harry Potter books have too many necessary details for a 3 hour film. May be LOTR works either ways because of a predictable ending and very few plot twists.

Never mind the bigger picture. I now have a copy of "The Blue Umbrella" and am also eagerly waiting to watch the movie. Should I read the book before watching the movie or not?

It is a children's book - so probably it is "okay" to read first. But, if the story is anything like the movie "Halo" (the one where a cute puppy goes missing - not sure if it is a book) then it would have a special charm the first time which would certainly be missing during subsequent viewings.

May be I should just read the book first to find out how Vishal has done it this time (his Maqbool and Omkara were mind-blowing adaptations). Even Ruskin Bond has liked the way the book has been made. May be I should just watch the movie and then read the book and then watch the movie again.

Any suggestions ??

PS: Just realized, too many peut-etre s !!

Edit 1: Halo is a 1997 movie by Santosh Sivan. Doesn't seem to be adapted from any book. It is certainly worth a watch. See more details here:

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