“The day the world could end…in a book”
Jasarat Ali Bhat
The source text for this proposed adaptation is the recently released Hollywood action/adventure movie, 2012. This movie's plot is rather simple: As presumed by the Mayan Civilization in the past, a unique alignment of our solar system's planets on December 21st, 2012 will bear catastrophic effects within the earth's core causing massive earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and etc that will eventually wipe out all life from the face of the earth. In the movie, the audience witnesses these events primarily from the perspective of small-time novelist Jackson Curtis (played by John Cusack) and politician Adrian ...view middle of the document...
However, as interesting as those concepts are in the context of world-ending catastrophes, audiences overlook them in view of flashier, simpler, and more entrancing visual effects. The film is cannibalizing its own message with its illustrious visuals, whereas an adaptation of this film into something that focuses more on the message, such as a novel, can help bring its story to higher grounds.
Primarily, the adaptation of the film into a new medium, such as a novel, will help the story realize a new potential. In film, what you see is essentially what you get, there is not much room for didactic reasoning or personal assumption. In a novel, the story knows no bounds as each individual reader can create their own understanding. . In the case of a novel, the story is at the mercy of not only an author but also the reader; a story is incomplete without the two. The reader can melt and mould the story into any genre depending on his/her understanding. For example, he/she can take it as a sci-fi or a thriller or reality or drama depending on his/her individual perceptions. Furthermore, the novel allows the perceiver to use his/her brains, own point of view, discretion, and imagination. Most of the time, novels are adapted into a movie and rarely the other way around. This is because of the fact that a movie is basically a jest of the novel; what a novel conveys however, cannot be conveyed by a movie. Although a movie has visual effect on the perceiver, which is appreciated better and faster by the same as compared to the literal effect of a novel, a novel’s message is much longer lived. Novels become more of a personal experience - firsthand experience (the reader tends to picture the plot and the scenes with him in the shoes of various characters) whereas a movie is somewhat of a borrowed experience (the viewer tries to imagine himself in place of the actor but with the strong persona of the actors, however difficult that may be). Moreover a novel would let a reader focus on other aspects too which get overshadowed by the graphics. Hence, the novel would be more useful to deliver a political or social message; it would not only warn the reader about his future but would also make him act and change his ways in the present so as to have a better tomorrow. It would completely address the social, political and the psychological aspects and even force the reader to act in retrospection. Hence the adaptation of the story into a novel would completely change the narrative. As mentioned, the reason for wanting to adapt this movie into a novel encompasses the problem on its own. This movie is meant to be an action/adventure film; by definition, it appeals to its audience with over-the-top visuals, intense action, and thrilling moments. In doing so, it loses its focus on the social, psychological, and political issues that it highlights. The major challenge in adapting a film like 2012 into a novel rests in downplaying the visual allure found in the...