Good Sunday, everyone!
For today’s 30 Book Challenge, we are sharing about our favourite book which turned into a movie. I’m not exactly sure what this means. But, I shall interpret it to be “a book we are glad to have adapted into a movie.” If so, my choice for today would be George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion“ and its film-adaptation, “My Fair Lady.”
Pygmalion is a beautifully written play. It is basically about a simple flower girl Eliza Doolittle who learns how to speak like a proper British lady from a renown phoneticist (and, honestly, a rather miserable person) Henry Higgins. Both the book and the screenplay were written by Shaw hence making the interpretation as close to his idea as possible.
Firstly, I loved the plot and moral of the story. A romantic comedy at its core, the story is also a commentary on British upper-class versus lower-class society and women’s independence. I liked the use of language to reflect the different social status and how differently people treat others according to how they speak and present themselves. And, I thought that turning it into a movie enable such a valuable classic more accessible to the mass market as opposed to keeping it in a book or a musical in Hollywood.
That said, I thought it was good to read to book as it allows readers to ponder on moral and social issues that are troubling, issues that are still with us today. I often found myself re-reading lines and highlighting my book to remember key points – on ambition, gender differences, social discrimination, etc – that are still relevant to our current generation.
In addition, this book is fun to read out loud in crazy English accents while stomping around your apartment. But, it was even more fun listening to the actors interpret it. I guess it made it easier for me since I am less familiar with the societal setting in which the play was based. Plus, the movie gave so much more life and vibrance to Shaw’s play. While the story was more ambiguous and less sentimental in the book, it provided a more decisive and certain ending in the movie.
Audrey Hepburn played Eliza’s role really well and so did Rex Harrison for Higgins. Audrey’s brilliant acting and simple elegance, really brought out that contrast in Eliza before and after her “transformation.” Also, the music were catchy and would leave viewers humming them for days.
Truly, Shaw’s Pygmalion is a must-know story that is original, quite entertaining and contains characters that have true recognizable personalities. Read the book, watch the musical (in film or in theatres) – both are fine. Just please do so. Indeed, you can watch the full “My Fair Lady” movie online here.
Also, please visit Cumuloquoise for her choice of awesome book that was turned into a movie. See you tomorrow for the rest of the challenge! Tata!