Book v Film: The Jungle Book (2016)

“The reason the beasts give among themselves is that Man is the weakest and most defenceless of all living things.”

Based on Rudyard Kipling‘s classic collection of stories and a re-imagining of the 1967 Disney animation, directed by Jon Favreau, The Jungle Book tells the story of Mowgli (Neel Sethi), an orphaned human living in the remote jungle of India. Guided by his guardians – Raksha the wolf (Lupita Nyong’o), Baloo the bear (Bill Murray), and Bagheera the black panther (Ben Kingsley) – Mowgli sets out on a journey of self-discovery, meeting monsters of the jungle – including Kaa (Scarlett Johansson) and King Louie (Christopher Walken) – while evading the threatening Shere Khan (Idris Elba).

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Book v Film: The Divergent Series – Allegiant

“There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else. Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater. But sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life. That is the sort of bravery I must have now.”

Based on the final book in Veronica Roth‘s young adult dystopian Divergent trilogy, The Divergent Series: Allegiant is the third instalment in The Divergent Series of films and is the first in a two-part adaptation of the final book.

Directed by Robert Schwentke and set in the aftermath of Insurgent after the release of a video that revealed the truth about the faction system, announcing that the Divergent are needed outside the borders of the city. Tired of waiting for the self-appointed leaders of a now factionless city to make a decision, Allegiant sees Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) venture outside of the walls that enclose the only world they know, a futuristic Chicago in ruins, for the first time ever. Once outside, old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless with the revelation of shocking new truths. Taken into protective custody by a mysterious agency known as the Bureau of Genetic Welfare, Tris and Four must quickly decide who they can trust, as a ruthless battle ignites. In order to survive, Tris is forced to make impossible choices about courage, allegiance, and sacrifice.

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Book v Film: Dark Places

“I felt hollowed out. My mom’s death was not useful. I felt a shot of rage at her, and then imagined those last bloody moments in the house, when she realised it had gone wrong, when Debby lay dying, and it was all over, her unsterling life. My anger gave way to a strange tenderness, what a mother might feel for her child, and I thought, at least she tried. She tried, on that final day, as hard as anyone could have tried. And I would try to find peace in that.”

The second adaptation of a Gillian Flynn novel to make it onto the big screen, the first being the hugely successful Gone Girl which was directed by David Fincher and released last year, Dark Places is a crime mystery based on Flynn’s second novel of the same name, which was originally published in 2009. Dark Places follows Libby Day (Charlize Theron) who, at the age of eight, witnessed the brutal murder of her family in their rural Kansas farmhouse, for which her brother was convicted for at the time. 30 years later, running out of money and with doubts beginning to creep up, Libby agrees to revisit the crime in an attempt to uncover the wrenching truths that led up to that tragic night.

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Book v Film: The 5th Wave

“We told the stories of our lives before the Arrival. We cried openly over the ones we lost. We wept secretly for our smartphones, our cars, our microwave ovens, and the Internet.”

Based on Rick Yancey‘s 2013 young adult dystopia of the same name and directed by J. Blakeson, The 5th Wave centres on 16-year-old Cassie Sullivan (Chloë Grace Moretz), and is premised during an alien invasion after an unknown species have executed four waves of increasingly deadly attacks, leaving most of Earth decimated. The first wave saw an EMP wave take out all electronics and technology, the second saw massive tsunamis around the world take out every coastline, the third saw an infection kill off most of the remaining survivors, and the fourth saw “the people in charge” turn their guns onto those left. But there’s still another wave to come, and it’s bound to be lethal. On the run, Cassie teams up with a young man who may be her final hope – if she can trust him – in a desperate attempt to save her younger brother.

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Book v Film: Room

“In the world I notice persons are nearly always stressed and have no time… In Room, me and Ma had time for everything. I guess the time gets spread very thin like butter over all the world, the roads and houses and playgrounds and stores, so there’s only a little smear of time on each place, then everyone has to hurry on to the next bit.”

Based on Emma Donoghue’s 2010 novel, and directed by Lenny Abrahamson, Room is told from the perspective of five-year-old Jack (Jacob Tremblay), who has been brought up by his mother (Brie Larson) in a single room, having been held captive for Jack’s whole life. Ma has created a whole universe in ‘Room’ for Jack, who knows nothing of the outside world, but when Ma decides it’s time to escape, she risks everything to give Jack the chance to make a thrilling discovery: the outside world. Room is a story about the unparalleled bond between parent and child, and how light can be found in the worst of situations when seen through a child’s eyes.

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Book v Film: American Psycho

“I had all the characteristics of a human being—flesh, blood, skin, hair—but my depersonalization was so intense, had gone so deep, that my normal ability to feel compassion had been eradicated, the victim of a slow, purposeful erasure. I was simply imitating reality, a rough resemblance of a human being, with only a dim corner of my mind functioning.”

Directed by Mary Harron and based on Bret Easton Ellis‘ 1991 book of the same name, American Psycho follows 26-year-old Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), a young, handsome and wealthy investment banking executive from New York, who has a beautiful fiancée, Evelyn (Reese Witherspoon), a secretary who’s in love with him, Jean (Chloë Sevigny), and everything a man of his age could only dream of. Yet Bateman remains indistinguishable from his Wall Street colleague – Timothy Bryce (Justin Theroux), Craig McDermott (Josh Lucas), David Van Patten (Bill Sage), Luis Carruthers (Matt Ross), and Paul Allen (Jared Leto). That is, apart from one thing: Bateman is a psychotic serial killer, delving deeper into his violent, hedonistic fantasies as his everyday routine becomes more and more mundane. Fueled by materialism and envy, Bateman’s murderous impulses are sharpened as he steps up his homicidal activities to a frenzied pitch. But how much can he get away with?

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Book v Film: The Hunger Games – Mockingjay (Part 2)

“It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.”

A whole year after the release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (Part 1), the final instalment in a series of adaptations based on Suzanne Collins’ trilogy of novels is finally here. With Part 1 leaving the dystopian nation of Panem on the verge of revolution, a hijacked Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) attempting to come to grips with reality, and our reluctant heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) preparing for battle, Part 2 picks up in District 13 as the team plan their way into the Capitol.

Directed once again by Francis Lawrence, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (Part 2) picks up with Katniss as she must bring together an army when Panem moves into a full-scale war. Teamed with those closest to her – Peeta, Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and Finnick (Sam Claflin) – Katniss sets out on her own mission, ignoring orders set to her by President Coin (Julianne Moore), as she leads her unit into mortal traps and humanity-breaking moral choices that will challenge her more than any arena she faced in The Hunger Games, in her efforts to end the manipulative reign of President Snow (Donald Sutherland) for good.

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Book v Film: Brooklyn

“None of them could help her. She had lost all of them. They would not find out about this; she would not put it into a letter. And because of this she understood that they would never know her now. Maybe, she thought, they had never known her, any of them, because if they had, then they would have had to realise what this would be like for her.”

Based on the 2009 award-winning novel of the same name, written by Irish author Colm Tóibín, Brooklyn is a historical period drama directed by John Crowley and screenplay written by Nick Hornby.

Set in 1950s Ireland, Brooklyn follows Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish girl who reluctantly moves to Brooklyn with the promise of a job. Although Eilis didn’t want to leave the comfort of her quaint hometown and the company of her mother and sister, the initial shackles of homesickness quickly diminish when she is swept into a fresh romance with Italian plumber Antonio “Tony” Fiorello (Emory Cohen). But when tragedy forces Eilis back to Ireland, she is faced with temptation when the charming Jim Farrell (Domhnall Gleeson) enters her life. With her new vivacity disrupted by her past, Eilis must now choose between two countries and two loves.

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Book v Film: Paper Towns

“When did we see each other face-to-face? Not until you saw into my cracks and I saw into yours. Before that, we were just looking at ideas of each other, like looking at your window shade but never seeing inside. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out.”

Directed by Jake Schreier, Paper Towns is based on The Fault In Our Stars author John Green‘s novel of the same name, and tells the coming-of-age story of Quentin (Nat Wolff) and his enigmatic neighbor Margo (Cara Delevingne). After taking him on an all-night adventure through their hometown, Margo suddenly disappears, leaving behind cryptic clues for Quentin to decipher. The search leads Quentin and his friends on an exhilarating adventure to track her down, where Quentin must find a deeper understanding of true friendship and of true love.

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