Wednesday, 27 July 2016

filmvsbook - Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

'Me Before You' by Jojo Moyes is a funny yet heartbreaking story of an ambition-less girl finding a job looking after a depressed quadriplegic (paralysed below the chest) man.

As Moyes also adapted the screenplay, we would expect the relationships and characters from the book to provoke the same feelings as they do in the film. However, the rushed nature of the film left me feeling as though a few crucial elements in the development of Will and Lou's relationship were missing. In the end of the book, the way they depended on one another had slowly simmered from an initial dislike when they had met 6 months previous. On the other hand, in the film, their love seemed to develop out of nowhere.

After the first half of the film film I began to wonder how they were going to fit the rest of the story in. But the slow pace picked up and by skipping a few of the larger details from the book, the film was able to cram the rest of the story into the last 30 minutes. Unlike the book, which took the time to carefully explain and build emotion around some very delicate issues, the film seemed to brush through and even ignore some of the crucial elements that contributed to the development of Lou and Will's complicated relationship.

I also couldn't help but feel disappointed with the portrayal of Patrick (Lou's boyfriend of 7 years). Matthew Lewis did a great job as the uncaring and selfish boyfriend, especially as I have know him as sweet and innocent Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter franchise. Again, the film missed out some of the negative behaviour of Patrick that we read in the book. Without these details, Lou's falling for Will was almost unjustified, she looked badly for behaving the way she did while in (what looked like) a reasonably happy relationship. Whereas in the book, his behaviour gave us more clarity and reason to support Lou and helped us to see why the relationship between Patrick and Lou came to an end. For example in both the book and film he offered to pay for their holiday but in the book he made clear that she would need to pay him back.

In saying this, I did leave the film having felt the same emotions. The film successfully gave us the same uplifting yet heartbreaking story. The same brilliantly funny one-liners that had me giggling as I read the book (would be laughing hysterically but I had to contain myself as I was in public) had the cinema audience in stitches. And the same moments that had me struggling to hold back my tears (again I was reading in public.. It was a sunny few days) had me blubbering in the cinema along with the rest of the snivelling audience. It was a rare feeling that I had, knowing exactly what was about to happen as I am usually too impatient to read before I see the film, but it helped me to notice the small, but still important, details that others would definitely miss.

Honestly one of the best books I have ever read. It is so much more than just a sappy love story and has brought to mind a real issue. Although it is focused around a relationship, it really had me thinking.

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