Saturday, December 15, 2007


Accountants or anyone who keeps inventory must be familiar with the acronyms FIFO or LIFO. But what's FMTB and FBTM. I just made them up, they're 'first movie then book' and 'first book then movie'.

Nowadays, it's always been the case when I asked someone his/her opinion about a movie I was about to watch, he/she would say something like, "'s based from the book" or "...have you read the book?" And in all cases, I haven't read or even seen the book. What do you expect from someone who go to Borders (accompanying someone) to browse the cd section?  :-p

Anyway, I just watched "I Am Legend" which is also based on a book by Richard Matheson. And like in many cases before, I'd buy and read the book after I watched the movie. I've done it many times before and have reasons for it. Some people would read the book first before it goes to silverscreen, remember Harry Porter? 

One of the main reasons for FMTB is that I need visualize what I read and assign actual person to the characters in the book. For instance, if I haven't seen the movie, I don't know who on earth should I assign to play Robert Neville's role, in my eyes? If that happens, I'll end up picturing myself as the lead character. Hehehe... but, I couldn't imagine myself playing Robert Neville, being a lone survivor in this planet, fighting vampires darkseekers and with no sex. Or I may assign my friend Cheng to play Robert Neville, adalah iras-iras Will Smith. Ada ke? Boleh laaa... hahahah... mampos nanti Bentara Guru bomohkan aku

But, some people argue why would I need to read the book after seeing the movie? Simple reason. There's so much details that were not captured in the movie. In I Am Legend, for example, the book details the progress of Robert Neville's discoveries to understand the plague that has infected everyone around him, which the movie didn't detailed much. In previous case, I had to re-watch The DaVinci Code after reading the book as I missed a great amount of details the first time I watched it. Luckily, I didn't end up buying the pictorial version of the book :-)

Futhermore, (according to wikipedia) Neville's psychological disposition is a significant element in the novel, and his struggles with despair imbue the character with intesity and gravitas -- which is not detailed in the movie. The author also emphasizez that he is an ordinary, flawed man trying to deal with an extraordinary catastrophe -- in the movie, Neville is a strong, muscular, fit, high-rank police officer, who obviously has been trained to use weapons. It also explores the loneliness of being by himself, excitement and hope of finding others, and disappointment over still finding himself alone -- in the movie, this was portrayed when Neville was trying to communicate with a still figure in the bookstore, that's it. 

Overall, the movie was great. And Will Smith, as usual, was really great playing a character who is seriously disturbed and even abnormal at times. I can't forget the scene when he was crying having to put Sam to sleep, touched me the most.

And now I've seen the movie and I've got the book, just please do one thing for me. The next time you see me, online or in real life, please don't ask, "Have you finished reading the book?" Most probably, I'll only read the book during my next summer break in May 2008 :-D

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