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Essay on High Fidelity

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Essay on Difference in High Fidelity of the book and movie

“High Fidelity” film is based on a 1995 novel by Nick Hornby, a London writer. The film has been directed by Stephen Frears, also a British. Stephen Frears adapted the film from the novel in the year 2000, and it became one of the best Disney movies. Frears and his screen writers Steve Pink, John Cusack, D.V. Devincentis, and Scott Rosenberg relocated the story from London to Chicago very successfully that it felt like it grew originally from the soil of the places where it was shot. This research is meant to find out some significant differences between the movie and the novel and it will also focus on the translation of High Fidelity from page to screen. The primary source of this research is the High Fidelity novel and Film.

“High fidelity” novel and the film are about real people in real lives. It begins with Rob, who is the main character, breaking up with Laura. He has broken up with many of his girlfriends a lot and while still hurting he writes down a list of top five women he has been with, and laughs that Laura dint make it to the top. After that, he decides to stand desperately on a bridge overlooking the Chicago River. Afterwards, he goes ahead and makes another list of top five reasons why he misses Laura. Rob breaks up with Laura which is not entirely Laura’s fault. Rob shows interest in some other women even while still with Laura, but they still have differences because they have a different focus in life. Rob owns a record store with two guys working for him; Dick and Barry. They both are experts on everything; brains stocked with nuggets of information about popular culture. Rob grows fond of them and become music fanatic like both of them.

Although Rob is thirty five years of age, he still behaves like an adolescent. He seems unable to connect permanently with a girl and does not care so much about his falling business. He once was on top on disc jocky though not anymore, and he is no longer crazy about music as much as Dick and Barry. He is also not thinking about his next girl, but rather he mops around about the last one. He feels desperate and stuck because of his role of the rejected lover especially when he thinks that he does not like a girl quite as much as when she is with him as after she is left. He also keeps thinks of how he would have made things right rather than what he is supposed to do. In his record store, he likes to criticize his customers together with his two friends Dick and Barry who makes sarcastic remarks about their customer behind their back. Whenever he finds a woman to go to bed with, his confidence comes back for a few minutes.

Barry and Dick involve Rob in talks and debates about music and at some point they take him to a night club to hear music. He gets advice from Laura’s best friend who is interested in him, but hates him for his emotional wavering. Rob also seeks his former girlfriends like Charlie who gives him reasons why she left him. Afterwards, he decides that the ideal girl for him would be a singer. Later, Rob makes up his mind to reset his life and reorganize his record store, Vinyl collection, not according to chronological sequence but to an autobiographical one, relating each song to a certain period of his life and a certain girlfriend. Later, Laura’s father dies and at that point they get back together with Laura. Even with Laura by his side, he still had eyes for other women. Neither does he stop wavering emotionally nor showing show improved character and confidence.

The adaptation of this film drew much criticism from some areas of British press. One of the reasons is because of the relation of the action which was in Chicago rather than in North London where the setting of the novel took place (Spin 90). Frears himself had reservations about this but later argued that the film kept the spirit of the book but universalized the story. Frear’s adaptation of Hornby’s novel is spiritually faithful, despite the setting has been moved from London to Chicago. Considering that the movie was shot in America and played by American actors might have rendered it implausible, but the crossover seemed natural, even to the author.

Though the adaptation is really good, when the movie got to Disney, the writers; D.V. Devincentis, Steve Pink and John Cusack some details got different and better from those of the book. Fans of the novel might appreciate the faithful transfer of the novel’s hilarious tone to the screen, but they will also note that the complexity of the novel has been streamlined in the adaptation. For instance, in the Novel, Rob is neither charming nor a sophisticated character; he elicits reader’s sympathy by wading clumsily through events that have been most experienced. As the story progresses, the reader might be on the side of Rob and hopes he tries to find his way in his emotional maze which has been created by his many years of failed dating. The crucial transformation from voice-over to direct address not injects an edgy immediacy to character and theme, forging a strongly intimate connection between Rob and viewers (Boozer 258).

In the book, a different scene presents a similar effect. Laura takes Rob to meet two of her friends Paul and Miranda, who have horrible musical taste but are nice, polite people. By the end of the conversation, Rob realized that it is what some is like and not what someone likes that matters. Again, the audience sees that Rob has come full circle and broken through his narcissism with a revelation. However, the scene in the book does more to demonstrate Laura and her circle as a part of Rob’s transformation; in the film, Laura’s influence is more subtle. While Laura certainly stimulates Rob’s change in the film, she does not act this directly in his final change.

Music plays a significant role both in the novel and the film. Hornby welcomed and appreciated the film and liked the way the music-plot was adapted into an American Domain. The effect of music, as part of the filmed dramatic experience, is powerful and diverse. They are not limited to producing mood, maintaining an experience of temporality; offering indications, and are important for characters’ emotion or feelings. The film encourages the audience towards particular interpretations of narrative elements; and generating a sense of unity. In addition, and perhaps most basically, the continuity of individual musical cues directs audience attention away from discontinuities in the image cause by the cuts between shots, due to the shifts between camera angles. For Hornby, what makes ‘High Fidelity’ adaptation authentic is that Pink, Cusack and Devincentis are not far removed from the culture of the book that other Hollywood screenwriters might be. With this statement, he focuses on his argument about the soundtrack music. He maintains that what he loved most was that the movie was made personal in the same way the book was personal to the writers. This meant that they made it the film to be about them, and he considered it as the best sort of adaptation.

The novel on which the movie is based is said to have changed behaviors, encouraged dreams, and shaped the expectation and of people worldwide. This situation is vastly different in the film, which features leading star Rob snuggling with beautiful women. The novel is also distinctively different in the regard that it tries to present significant narrative about human relations. The film necessarily narrows its scope to maintain momentum and thus cedes its realism, and the ability to share in its moral lessons accordingly.

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