This weekend I watch The Lizzie Bennet Diaries for the second time. My sisters and I squealed and laughed and I had to once again try to calm my Darcy fangirl down. But, that, of course is to be expected.
It is always interesting to experience an adaptation of a story that you love, and I find that it seems to be a nearly constant event in popular cinema these days (book adaptations and sequels, my friends, the way of Hollywood).
I may stand in the minority here, but I love adaptations. When it comes to the beloved story of the illuminable Ms. Elizabeth Bennet and the brooding before it was cool to brood Mr. Darcy, I love them all. Well, most of them. I have a thing about the 1995 miniseries with Colin Firth that almost everyone in the world (save Jess) disagrees with me on, but then again, that’s the very reason I am writing this post.
See, the problem I have with the miniseries, is the one surefire way for me to dislike an adaptation – especially a book to film adaptation. The purpose of an adaptation, should be, to enhance the story, to treat the story as a living, breathing thing, that transported to a new medium, or a new setting, or a new whatever the adaptation does, it would transform, in some ways.
This is why I don’t care if a movie leaves out a scene. Or makes a character a little bit different. Because movies tell stories in such a different way than books do. If you adapt a book to a movie, then, certain aspects of the book, which worked to tell the story so well, will simply fall apart on screen. The reverse is just as true. After all, what may take 10 pages to describe in a book, can sometimes be shown in a movie in 30 seconds. But, that inner dialogue that carries the book – well, that will have to change on film. This is the beautiful thing about the different mediums of art.
Of course, there are awful adaptations, which I think, occur one of two ways. By trying to be so faithful to the original that they don’t use the tools of their own medium. Sort, of that whole idea of following the letter of the law, but not the spirit. And then, those that abandon the heart of the original.
I say this to say, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is simply a brilliant adaptation. Clever. True to the heart of the book, as well as, exploring new aspects of it. So, excuse me, while I go watch it again.