Nowadays it is clear that we depend less and less on printed communication and it seems that our current society is becoming more and more dependent on audio-visual methods of communication such as films.
On the one hand, the American and British film market has become a very powerful and positive tool for spreading English culture and language all around the world. Original English version of films can be extremely useful for educational purposes with regard for both communicating the language and for bringing about an awareness of English literature. Original versions provide students with an excellent insight into English works of Literature and for students where English is being learnt as a second language, the use of films is a positive motivation and an excellent linguistic source.
On the other hand, cinema and novels have some major differences and these differences can cause problems when one is used to represent the other. For example, it is very difficult in a film to convey the intense psychological nature of a particular character as it is portrayed in the same novel. It is also extremely difficult to communicate the written word into motion pictures. Because of this, a film version of a book can cause changes from the original form.
Therefore, a film cannot be a full representation of the original written word in the same way that a painting can only partially represent the event is representing.
Film reviewers and critics have established a comparison between works of literature and their adaptation to the big screen “evaluating” whether the film shows true fidelity to the original book. Whilst fidelity is important, the use of film to exhibit an interpretation of a literary text has also its value.
Whether we like it or not, written literary works as well as films play an essential role in communicating literature: both are creative, and both transform us in time and reality.
Perhaps there is another question to consider, is it important to read the literary work in its original form before watching the film?
Authors: Bachillerato’s alumni of prof. Lirta Marrero