Some books just stay with you forever, and what makes them stay with you is the characters, sometimes it is all about one character which just conquers your heart forever. From the time I started reading I had this thing about imagining the characters in my mind, I am sure many of us do it, in our minds there would be a picture of the character as described by the novelist or story teller and the character takes different leaps as per his story but his looks remains the same in the minds of the reader.
It is precisely for this reason that I usually avoid watching movies based on novels that I have read, because the movie, however good it is made, usually totally shatters the image or images of the character that I had sketched in my mind and sometimes it is really a jolt to our carefully built imagery. Also I have noticed that mostly if we read the novel and then watch the movie, it really leads to a lot of dissatisfaction, only very rarely you come across a movie which does full justice to the beauty of a well written novel, or it totally surpasses the novel and makes a niche for itself, but usually they turn out to be disappointments. I do not hold the director or the star caste of such movies responsible for this because usually it happens because as a reader we have had vivid, clear imaginations in our head.
I especially remember one particular instance, I had read ‘Gone with the wind’ when I was in may be the first year of college and I had this very clear, Tall Dark and Handsome image of ‘Rhet Butler’ in my mind and also I was totally bowled over by him. Couple of years later I happened to watch the movie ‘Gone with the wind’ and I was absolutely disappointed by the on screen ‘Rhet Butler’, with all due respect to the actor, it was not about his looks or acting abilities not being up to the mark, it was about me not able to see any body else as ‘Rhet Butler’, because the person in my imagination was my 'Rhet Butler' and could never bring myself to accept the person on screen as him.
Now after that particular incident I made up my mind that as much as possible I would avoid watching such movies, but if I happen to see it at all then I will try and erase the image in my mind and keep my mind open for a new face to take over the face in my imagination, but you would agree that it is a very difficult task!
Yes, sometimes when the face on screen and the screenplay proves to be better than the novel that I had read and the face in my imagination, it sure comes as a pleasant surprise. Have you had any disappointments like me or you have had pleasant surprises instead when you have watched movies based on novels that you have read??