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October 27, 2012

Weekend Reviews: The book is usually better than the movie

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The Daily Star

---- — There are always a few movies out that have been adapted from a book into a film in order to make as much of a profit as possible out of the story. 

Fortunately, some such movies this year are actually really interesting and influential books in their own right, and with any luck, the movies will do those books justice.

For instance, Jack Keruoac’s novel “On the Road” has been made into a new film starring Garrett Hedlund as Dean Moriarty, Sam Riley as Sal Paradise, and Kristen Stewart as Marylou. The film features an all-star cast, with Amy Adams of “Mad Men,” Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortenson, Steve Buscemi of “Boardwalk Empire” and Terrence Howard all making appearances as well.   

Keruoac first had the idea for the novel during the 1940s, after the end of World War II. The book follows the story of Paradise, Moriarty and their friends as they take a road trip across America during the early 1950s.

The book is well-known as being one of the most prominent works of the Beat Generation, which was a group of post-war American writers who documented their experimentation with drugs, sexuality and a rejection of materialism. This group later contributed some of its culture, such as the ideas of non-conformity and spontaneous creativity, into the hippie counterculture of the ‘60s and ‘70s. 

The film is set to be released on Dec. 21, and I know I am truly excited to see it. However, I just hope that it is true to the unique storyline of “On the Road” and remembers how influential of a book it is. 

I may also just be nervous because Kristen Stewart is in the movie, and I can’t seem to get the bad taste of the “Twilight” saga out of my mouth no matter how much I’d like to forget those movies.

Although the movie will not be out until December, the book is always available, and I highly recommend you all read it. I promise it will change your perspective on a lot of different things in life, which, being a teenager, is always beneficial. 

Another must-see film is the adaptation of the popular novel “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky. Written in 1999, the book is written as an epistolary, which means it is written in letter-form. In this case, the main character, Charlie, writes the story of his freshman year of high school through letters to an anonymous “friend.”

At the beginning of the story, Charlie is very quiet and prefers to sit and observe what is happening around him instead of being an active participant in his own life. However, this begins to change when he becomes friends with two seniors, Patrick, and his stepsister, Sam. The two take Charlie under their wing and he begins to become more social and experience life for himself instead of being the wallflower all the time, which is not always a good thing.

The film, which is now in theaters, stars Logan Lerman, from films such as “Hoot” and “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” as Charlie, and Emma Watson, most known as Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series, as Sam.

I read the book a few years back, but in order to write this review, I wanted to make sure I still knew what I was doing. So having just recently re-read the book, I have to mention how distracted I became while reading it. And what I mean by that is, as a new college student, I don’t usually have heaps of time to read anymore. But I made sure to make time to read this book, because you begin to feel compassion and a sort of friendship with Charlie and the other characters, and you truly care about what happens to them.

Before you make the trip to the movie theater in order to see these movies, please do read the books beforehand. It is always interesting to see the differences between the two, and like they say, the book usually is better than the movie anyway.

Maggie McVey, a 2012 graduate of Oneonta High School, is a freshman at the State University College at Plattsburgh. ‘Teen Talk’ columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/teentalk