The Movie Or The Book?
Silver Linings Playbook
I will admit I spend a great deal of time in the movie theater, probably more than I should. But I do love to see how a director and the screenwriter visualize an author’s work. I’ve watched the movie, Silver Linings Playbook, several times. I was thrilled to see the quality of acting by Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro, and Jennifer Lawrence. The characters touched my heart during this wonderfully directed film.
More importantly, the movie motivated me to read the book.
Written in first person, author Matthew Quick draws you right in with the main character, Pat Peoples, and describes effectively the illness he faces. Peoples is diagnosed as bi-polar and the author stays true to the character in how he presents the story in every aspect.
What struck me as I read along were the vast differences in the way some of the characters were shown on the big screen compared to the book. Pat Peoples is trying to make his way back into the world after spending time in a mental facility. He is embraced by his mother but shunned by his father in the book. The movie presents Pat’s dad as caring, dedicated and loving.
There are other examples of extremes between the two that will eventually make you appreciate how the author presents his story. I won’t delve into this for fear of killing the wonderful surprises that arise in the movie and the book.
There are some similarities though with the two in the plot. But there weren’t enough of them to convince me that the movie stayed true to Quick’s novel.
The bottom line is this — you would be cheating yourself if you only saw it on the big screen. And you need to be patient with the book version. At first, I had the notion that the movie had done a better job in telling the story.
It took a while for Quick to reach deeper into the depth of the characters. This is the selling point of the book. Quick does a terrific job in letting the characters play off of each other in some funny and dire circumstances. This is present in the movie, too, but not on the scale of the book.
I will not spoil this for you by showing any more examples. You’ll notice how the story Quick wrote is done with strength and courage and truth to what he disease is and how it can manhandle even the strongest person.
What about the ending? The movie version ignores the ending of the book. It’s more Hollywood. Well, it is Hollywood.
The ending in the book version is better.
In fact, it’s perfect.
Quick’s story will inspire you. It will help educate you on what bi-polar is and can do to the individual person, their families, and their lovers. He takes you deep into that dark world and somehow manages to shine a bit of light and hope.
It will help you understand that everyone deserves to be loved, no matter what the struggle one faces.
It will motivate you to read more.
There’s something so magical about a book. It’s a grand feeling sweeping over your soul when you are falling in love with a story and the characters under a lamp at 2 a.m. in the morning.