Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Unbroken Movie vs. Book (copy)

Now that the movie Unbroken has been out in theaters for a couple of weeks, I have to state my opinion that the book is better. One might reason that in the movie, viewers can see the movements of the characters or be captivated by the beautiful scenery. The visual is very seductive, but I stand unmoved. In all cases, the book is always better.
Gone with the Wind is a perfect example of the quality of the book versus the movie. According to the Oscar Award’s database, the movie was nominated for 15 Oscars and won 10 including best actress, best supporting actress, art direction, directing, cinematography, and screenplay. Not bad, but the book won higher praise with the Pulitzer Prize for Margaret Mitchell in fiction.
Both movie and book are quality according to the experts, but the one difference is the insight into characters. Movies allow for some insight by either having characters tell their feelings to one another or speak out loud for no reason which is awkward. Books explain in great detail what characters are thinking, feeling, and planning.
You cannot possibly know what main character, Louis Zamperini, in Unbroken is thinking, feeling or planning unless you read the book or he tells another person in the movie. Why did Louie run so poorly in the Olympics? In the book, readers learn that he did not have enough money for the trip so he stole food. On the ship he went for the pastries and while in Germany he made off with a loaf of bread.
The book Unbroken really puts readers through the wringer during the lost at sea segment. You starve with Louie. You listen to his mother’s Italian recipes and experience the shark’s fin as it runs underneath the raft past your spine. You also become closer to God and your own immortality. The movie’s time perimeters allow viewers a couple of these events before being found by the Japanese. The 47 days of agony are reduced to 25 minutes on film. At least in the book, it will take you a couple of days to read the section.
Not to take away from the movie, but my husband had a hard time believing all these things happened to one man and he could never shake off the fact that he was watching a movie set. Both author, Laura Hillenbrand, and director, Angelina Jolie, were blessed in the fact that they had Louis Zamperini in person to ask how he thought, and felt and the actions he took to survive.

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