Yesterday, after a very long day I finally got the chance to see the film “Me Before You” which is an adaptation of a book that I loved so much by JoJo Moyes. In fact, the book was such a fun read for me that I remember spending three hours a day reading through it just to see what happens next. As far as stories go, “Me Before You” to me, had all the ingredients of a good plot. After all, the novel tells a story of love, adventure, opportunity, life, and free choice, all bundled in 380 pages of compelling fiction. So, I was curious to see how all the story lines the book reflected could be made into a film, and now that I had seen it, I can safely say that the film version is not bad at all.
For those of you who haven’t seen the film or read the book, the story is about Luisa, a girl who gets a job as a caretaker for Will, a man with a severe handicap and they end up falling in love and she ends up leaving her fiancé Patrick for him. I won’t say more about the plot, just read or watch it yourself.
However, there are some details that are cut out of the film version which I felt were important to the logical reasoning of some characters’ behaviors. For example, Will’s father doesn’t have an affair in the movie, unlike the book where the affair makes him a less likable character and his mother a character you can’t help but feel sorry for. Similarly, Patrick, Louisa’s fiancé, to me was more likable in the movie than he was in the book, to the point where I felt that her leaving him for Will was unfair. The movie directors in my opinion should have made him as annoying as he was in the book, just to give the whole dimension of Louisa breaking up with him a more realistic twist.
Granted it is a challenge to fit 380 pages of story in two hours of film, but the book had more interesting details in it for me. For example, in the book, Will had an angry sister, Louisa was defined by an incident of rape she experienced as a teenager, and this incident gave reason for some of her strange life choices as an adult. If you take that away, you really can’t understand why she is a smart girl who is living in a small dead-end town, but that’s my opinion. Similarly, the book had a nicer flow for the budding relationship between Louisa and Will, while in the move I felt the love story happened too fast. But on the upside, the film had a nicer Luisa and a less annoying Will.
The town they lived in felt less bleak in the film than it did in the story. Similarly, Louisa’s home life in the film seemed less poor than it did in the book.
If you were to ask me, which one is better well I am pro-book always. But, in this case the film too is worth watching. However, at times, I felt that plot in the film was reduced to a simple love story. So, I would say read the book first then see the movie.
That is always how it is supposed to be.