Write an entire post without using any three-letter words.
Whew. At least they didn’t demand that I utilize only three letter words. That would have been very hard, though possible. I remember a book I once read – We Need to Talk About Kevin – in which said Kevin, psychopath that he is, writes every high school paper using only three letter words. He manages to write well-argued, coherent papers nevertheless.
That book is among a small number of stories I have come across where both film as well as book versions of them were equally satisfying. Well, almost equally. Thinking of Kevin’s book version, I do remember that Kevin’s mother – whose voice tells us about what happened throughout – started to sound annoying after a while. On second thought, movie version wins.
English Patient is high up there on my list of favorite movies. Starting with Anthony Minghella’s opening shot of Libya’s desert landscape as seen from an airplane, I knew that I would love it, that I would watch it repeatedly. (Never mind that I have a permanent crush on Ralph Fiennes. Constant Gardener anyone?). So much so that, year after year, I avoided reading English Patient as a book, in which form it originally existed before cinematic adaptation. I didn’t want to stop loving my favorite movie because, as people always judge: “book’s so much better”. Finally, though, I caved in because I knew that no matter what outcome unfolded, a Michael Ondaatje book will have been worth it.
At present, I am three-quarters finished with Ondaatje. Before I give my verdict, I would like to hear from my virtual readers about which is better – book or movie? If English Patient is unfamiliar, tell me of other book/movie combinations where former version proved to be just as good as latter version. Since they come around so infrequently, a list of such a nature is bound to be short.
Come on, bashfulness away, opine!