Monday, February 28, 2011

Princess Bride Movie vs. Book

Princess Bride by William Goldman
Princess Bride with Cary Elwes and Robin Wright

I saw the movie first and absolutely loved it. Doesn't everyone? The wonderful characters, the sword fights, the wit and all the things that the grandfather promises too.

And then I read the book. I liked the book. But I didn't love it like I thought I would.

Now I'm going to warn you right now that I'm going to assume that everyone has seen the movie so if you haven't there might be some spoilers in here that you won't want to read. And if you haven't seen the movie I suggest that you do. I, as I mentioned, love it and I haven't run into anyone yet who didn't.

It's obvious that I liked the movie better so I don't see any reason not to mention that right off but I do see how the book could have more appeal to some.

The characters are basically the same. Westly is dashing, Inigo is a great swordsman out for revenge, Fezzik is nice but not so bright, and Vizzinii is out to make a profit and enamored of his own genius. You get more background on all of the characters in the book. They give a brief history of Inigo and Fezzik and how they came to hook up with Fenzini. You get to see Buttercup's home life too. In the book she has parents and you get to see more of a family life for her. So all of the characters don't just show up out of the blue. But everyone is just slightly different. Westly is more condescending to Buttercup, Buttercup is not very smart and seems less devoted to Westly when she gives her reasons for leaving him at the fireswamp. Fezzik was never very smart but it is more evident in the book and he becomes a little less personable. Inigo and Vizzini are very close though.

There are scenes that come word for word from the book. The inconceivable conversation, the iocane powder scene, and some others that were just as much fun in the book as they were in the movie. A lot more happens in characters heads in the book though. When Fezzik is trying to figure out why he can't beat Westly or when Inigo is going on about the Capo Ferro defense and all of that during the duel it is all internal monologue. But I think the dialogue between the characters in these scenes makes them funnier and I missed it in the book.

The friendship between Fezzik and Inigo is explored more in the book and there are more scenes with just the two of them. And I liked those two together.

The ending of the movie is much more fairy-tale than the book. But I think the movie was much more fairy-tale all the way through. I think the movie is funnier and more light hearted than the book. But the book does provide some more information about the characters and doesn't just start with two people in middle of nowhere with no explanation or reason. And I liked Westly and Buttercup in the movie better. But it depends on what you are looking for I guess. I probably would have liked the book more if I had not already seen and loved the movie.

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