6. Everything is Illuminated

6. Everything is Illuminated

I have been waiting to watch this movie for the longest time now. The only thing that was keeping me from watching it, was the fact that I hadn’t finished reading the book. For Christmas last year, my sister got me a book with two of Jonathan Safran Foer‘s novels, Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which is my most favorite novel of all time. Foer is my favorite author.

No, you don’t understand. Like, my favorite. 

So it would be a sin to not talk about his book when I’m talking about the movie. First of all, I had already read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close before, so when I got my Christmas present, I began reading Everything is Illuminated. I began doing so in January… and left a few chapters until about last week, when I finally finished it. And it was amazing. I think those two novels are tied for my favorite books of all time.

The book.

Now the thing about good books for me, at least the way I see it, is that the plot isn’t really what makes it special. It’s the delivery of it. And this is so true for Foer’s books. The plots are never really anything out of the ordinary. It’s just the way he describes it or says it that makes everything so completely AMAZING. His words give such deep emotion and color to such a mundane experience, I think. And that’s a great thing to have because not everyone can relate to evil wizards or sparkling vampires, but we can all somehow relate to disappointment. And I feel like that’s how his books end. It’s never really a happy ending in the sense of happy endings.

Oh, here we go again with happy endings…

The movie.

So, this isn’t anything new, but the movie was kind of inaccurate. Surprise surprise. As a movie, it was really good. I loved the indie feel of it. [Especially since I watched it on the indie movie channel.] But it really didn’t do the book any justice. Only parts of it.

Now, it would be a sin to watch this movie before reading the book. So please, please read the book before watching the movie. Or… please please read the book. Period. You could watch the movie, but you really won’t be missing out that much. Don’t get me wrong, it was very entertaining and very emotional, I almost cried. But as a devout follower of Foer, I have to say the book was so much better. Especially because there’s so much more of a background story in the book, that the movie completely skips, obviously because of time. And I always notice this about movies that are based on books: they’re always so hurried. Everything’s choppy, and when you’re the person who has read the book, you wonder how other people would be able to understand what’s going on.

Anyway, back to happy endings. Although the movie didn’t really have that much of a “happy ending” it was still happier than the book’s ending. It wasn’t quite so hopeless because the stories were somehow manipulated to fit exactly what Jonathan (the main character) was looking for. And it’s not really like that. But just read the book, and you’d know.

I love how the movie portrayed Alex, though. And I really enjoyed the different music. [I’d like to describe it as “folksy” but I don’t know what I’m talking about.] It was very entertaining, but please PLEASE read the book first.

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