Bibliophiles and cinema-lovers are often at loggerheads every time a book gets adapted into a movie. While the former like to say, “Well, the book was better,” and in most cases it is, the latter like to argue that watching a movie is a better experience because you get to see the journey you’ve embarked on vividly.
In this week’s recommendations we bring you the best of both worlds – some of the best mysteries adapted from best-selling novels. Take a look below:
Murder on the Orient Express
Probably one of the best modern adaptations of Agatha Christie’s novels, Murder on the Orient Express introduces Hercule Poirot, “probably the greatest detective of the world” trying to find a murderer in a coach of elites. There is no qualms about Agatha Christie’s being one of the most iconic mystery writers and bringing her work to life cinematically was a great challenge for Kenneth Brannagh, who directs and stars as Poirot in the film. When the film was announced, many predicted that it would be all stars and no content (Michelle Pfeiffer, Penelope Cruz, Johnny Depp, Willem Dafoe, Dame Judy Dench, Daisy Ridley to name a few). After watching the film though, one realises that it is as enjoyable as reading the book was. Murder on the Orient Express will surely make you nostalgic, if not anything else. The film was first adapted in 1974 with Sean Connery and Bergman and is considered one of the best mystery films of all time.
No Country For Old Men
Cormac McCarthy’s 2005 novel was almost revolutionary when it first released and got a lot of people talking about the big bad world of drug cartels, and how the weird man you crossed paths with in the morning might have been a serial killer. But when the film released people were blown away by how attracted they were to this terrifying tale. It swept off four academy awards in some major categories (Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Screenplay and Best Directing) and immortalised Javier Bardem as a figment of your worst nightmares. Even when the actor has been part of more iconic movies, it hasn’t been better than this one. What people love about the film is that it’s not good vs evil but evil vs lesser evils. These are the kind of films people don’t easily forget.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Swedish author Steig Larrson’s best-selling novel about a computer hacker and a journalist investigating a 40-year-old disappearance and murder of a woman, was excellently made into a major Hollywood film by David Fincher. It was dark and gripping and saw a career-best performance from Rooney Mara. Anyone who loves a good, unfolding mystery with complex layers will surely love the film. It also reached a very well-deserved level of fame, and chances are that many have already seen it. If you haven’t yet, it will be a great film to break away from the quarantine fatigue we are all in.
To Die For
Joyce Maynar’s 1992 book about a wannabe newscaster who would stop at nothing to become famous was made into a film in 1995 by Gus Van Sant. Nicole Kidman starred as Suzanne Stone, a seemingly charming woman whose deep-rooted desire for fame makes her do really dangerous things. Joaquin Phoenix also starred as Jimmy Emmet, a sixteen year-old rebel who is seduced by Suzanne to do her dirty work for her. Why we recommend the film is because it was underrated when it released, and is gradually being talked about again. The best part of the film is how funny it is given its storyline. The film’s point-of-view is satirical to the world’s obsession with celebrities, especially the ones who break the law. It is still relevant by a lot. It should also be watched because Nicole Kidman is an amazing performer, a recognition which was robbed from her during the 90s-2000s.
A Simple Favor
When Darcey Bell’s 2017 thriller novel was made into a film starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively by Bridesmaids director Paul Feig, not many people were having it. The film didn’t get a lot of heat at the box-office. However, in our opinion it is a completely underrated masterpiece that people did not give a chance to because of preconceived notions. Both Kendrick and Lively are refreshing in roles we haven’t seen them before in, and the entire mystery unfolds deliciously. You don’t know what’s coming. A Simple Favor also stars Lina Cardinelli in a very important role, which reminds us of Judy from Dead To Me.