Okay, I just finished reading Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (excluding the epilogue which I will soon finish), and I watched the movie a couple… months ago? I didn’t plan on reading the book; it was just tossed into my summer reading assignments to annotate.
That being said, it may seem like I know very little or understood very little since I was forced to read a book. Well guess what, I was even forced to watch the movie with my friends who dragged me there. Before the movie, I knew absolutely nothing. I didn’t know what was going on.
But before I get started, I just want to say… yes, there may be spoilers.
Right in the beginning, it’s just like there’s a guy on a plane, it seems like there’s a fight with a bunch of shooting, and there’s a guy who’s been shot. It was intense. I never expected that as the beginning (or anything at all because, as mentioned before, I had no idea what was going on). Everything in that scene was so incredibly amazing–
Until I read that scene in the book. With the book, you could feel the emotional aspect of it. Though that’s not how the story begins and is rather in the middle, the reader gets a wallop of heartracing tension right there. You learn that while the guy is shooting guns, there’s a lone pilot trying to control a shot plane, and there are the main character and the c0-pilot trying to help those who were shot. You feel your heart beat as the enemy plane is rising up from the clouds, ready to shoot. You feel shocked and relieved to know the last man left shooting (who has also been injured) is the one who shoots down that pilot.
Yeah–the book’s got details. I mean, every book has details–not to say movies don’t have details. They really do, but only if you spot them. When you read, you kind of have to spot the details (especially if you’re annotating a book for summer reading). I thought it was great to also have an imagination of how things worked out as I tried to find out how each detail fit into place for each scene.
But I have to admit, the movie was pretty good. There are visuals. I know what you’re thinking–yeah, I know, so what? Well, even if you read a book, sometimes it gets so crowded and confusing in your head with the bunch of characters in a single room. I got confused with Kano and Kono from the book. But if I saw their faces in a movie? It would be a whole lot less confusing. Plus, with a movie, there are great dramatic effects that not even a book could get. Combined with music, different shooting angles, colors, and a whole bunch of things both viewers and I don’t know, a movie could really tug on you. When Louie lifts the wooden beam for a long period of time, and the Bird just watches him, it gets kind of… draggy in the book. I mean, it was good that you knew what Louie felt, but in the movie? People cheered him on. He lifted a wooden beam and would not give up. His captor was angry since he felt defeated by the way a POW could just defy him with a single notion. Yeah–those three sentences were expressed way better in the movie.
It’s great there’s visuals, but in my opinion, there are some things you have to stick to in the book. I understand there are creative liberties when filming a movie based on a book, but… based on pictures I’ve seen in the book, Phil is not blond. (okay, it’s not that bad, but for some reason I get upset with issues like Annabeth’s hair color from the book to the movie). I’m also pretty sure there a whole lot skinnier and bonier.
With the book, there was also details of other crazy captors, like the Quack (poor Harris), the Weasel, and a bunch of others. They describe the way they abused POWs, and I for one felt terrible when the Quack hits Harris’s head. I mean, come on, the guy with photographic memory couldn’t remember anyone the next day! You would feel sorry for people when they were abused as you read throughout the book. Readers may even feel as heartbroken as the prisoners when Gaga the duck was killed.
But, although some people would appreciate details, there are sometimes… when the details give out too much information. Since when did I want to know that the Bird ate stool samples of dysentery patients? Why would I want to know the Bird reaches sexual climax when hitting POWs? I’m in HIGH SCHOOL, and I completely regret reading that, even if it’s such a trivial detail to others. I didn’t want to know that. There are limits to details.
Also, some characters don’t even seemed to be mentioned (or at least not often) in the movie. Where was Kono, Kano, the Weasel, Cecy, Cynthia, and all the others? Weren’t they important? It may have been viewed as a distraction of the main story, but reading the book with them included made it seem better.
There were parts not included in the movie too. It never mentions the PTSD, the abusing of his wife (speaking of which, how he met and married his younger wife quickly), the stress rash on Louie’s mom’s hands, Phil’s life as he marries his beloved Cecy, and everything else.
So, if I had to choose book or movie… I’d have to go with the book.
You may say I’m bias, that I probably like books better than movies, but believe me: every person that knows me knows that I absolutely hate books. I hate reading because it may take ten chapters to get through a day in the book. I’ve heard of a whole book describing one second. There are too many details. There are too many things to process. And there are way too many things to analyze. I sometimes scrutinize over a history book, looking over previous chapters to see if that name popped up before in the past. I look at books and make references to other pages that may be related to that page. I once drank three cups of coffee right away just to finish reading three chapters for school. In short, books are an eyesore. So trust me, I’m way more surprised than you to know that I chose the book over the movie.
Well, that’s it for today. I know. I haven’t been online. You know what I was doing? Reading Unbroken and occasionally getting dragged to stores by my family who won’t leave me alone in the house.
And whether you agree with me or not, feel free to look up both. I thought they were incredible stories of a man who will never give up–a man with an unbroken spirit and an unbroken humanity, a man, who as he lived his running days, had an unbroken record. And nothing has ever broken this resilient man enough for him to give up.