Contemporary entertainment has grown to be vast than anyone could have thought. Movies, books, and other types of media are used to represent various powerful ideas and thoughts. Movies have largely replaced theater and are slowly creeping into replacing books and print media. This is because many books have now been turned into films and the majority would prefer watching the movie than reading the book. The film After is one of these books that has been largely adapted into films and there is not so much of a standalone plot as there are three major events that climax in a promise that future episodes would provide us with more , bearing in mind that the film breaches the gaps in characters and plot left by book itself.
The film is an American romantic drama that is Derived from the first volume of Anna Todd’s novel series. It begins with Tessa going off to college in the company of her mother Carol and her boyfriend Noah, who is soon dumped after Tessa makes the big step up by being romantically involved with Hardin. The two are caught up in an intense sensual relationship even though they are very different people. Tessa is naïve from an average family while Hardin is a guy that portrays an attitude of a bad boy. These characters are more of the same in both the film and the book, but there is a slight difference in Hardin’s character since the book portrays him as being more vulgar that the film portrays.
The most apparent use of symbolism is when talking about Vance, which is where Tessa works because it is about the future. Vance represents the unknown, something that Tessa has to do without Hardin. It is a representation of her life when she has no idea how to run her personal life In the film, Vance is not necessarily portrayed as a representation of Tessa’s future because Hardin seems to be a close associate of Vance, and that he used to work there too. This is a slight difference from what the novel portrays.
Another device that is close to symbolism, is Imagery. This device is well illustrated by how appealing the empty branches of the dead tree are drawn into Hardin’s skin. They seem to be more appealing than haunting under the bright sun. In other words, Anna Todd uses precise descriptors to illustrate to the readers, what the characters see. Comparatively, the film illustrates this imagery in a better way, by highlighting the dark ink used to draw the tattoos, hence portraying it more aesthetically than how the book describes.
For any movie that is an adaptation of a book, the choice of music makes all the differences that there is between the book and the movie. The music makes the reader feel what the characters feel at a certain scene (Kuntman 8). The film has featured musical choices that support the story’s stress and sadness, incorporating music by well-known pop musicians as well as lesser-known performers. Sultry favorites like Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman” and Selena Gomez’s “Good for You” coexist with new tracks like Pia Mia’s “Bitter Love.” These pieces make the most difference in the movie and it clearly shows the gaps that the film is filling.
Adaptation of books into movies comes with a lot of sacrifice of a few characters and changes of the few chosen ones to reflect the sacrificed ones (Brower 243). After, being an adaptation is not an exemption. One of the major differences between the two media is the characters. With Hardin, for instance, you can only understand how rude he is by reading the book. The dirty mouth of his seems to be forgotten in the movie too and his rough side can only be depicted by one scene in the movie. While the movie is based on the book, the two media seem to portray different perspectives of the characters in ways that either one might have left out. Tristan’s character, for instance, is portrayed by a girl in the movie, as opposed to a boy in the book. This is for diversity, I would say because Anna Todd felt that one mistake of the book, is that the book does not have much diversity as expected. Tristan being a girl and being in a relationship with a girl was a plus in terms of diversity. The character Tristan and Steph were used to introduce diversity into the movie, which was left out in the book. This change of characters also proves the point that the film After is way better than the book because of how it tries to fill in the contemporary issues that are left out by the book.
Generally, it is fair to say that an adaptation of a book is always a good thing if the book itself is thrilling (Katsaridou). Adaptation gives the book life and makes it easy for people who are not novel lovers to relate to it (Brower 244). An adaptation gives room to improve in the weaknesses of the story that were portrayed in the book. In the film After, for instance, the producers have taken more considerations of contemporary issues that were not represented in the book. It has also substituted some character’s trait with better traits that the society would appreciate, such as Hardin’s vulgarity.
Kuntman, Ayşegül Begüm. Analyzing The Correlation Between the Use of Music and Color in Cinema. Diss. Institute of Social Sciences, 2018.
After. Netflix Video, 2019.
Brower, Jordan. “Written with the Movies in Mind”: Twentieth-Century American Literature and Transmedial Possibility.” Modern Language Quarterly 78.2 (2017): 243-273.
Katsaridou, Maria. “Adaptation of video games into films: The adventures of the narrative.” TICS (2017): 1290.