This one is a classic. Not only the book is considered a famous and important piece of world literature, but also the movie is considered to be among the best. Both of them had been on my to-do-list for ages and now I finally found the time!
Set in Alabama in 1933 (although a span of 3 years is covered) we experience life through the eyes of Scout Finch, a six-year-old girl. She is close to her brother Jem and to her father Atticus who is a lawyer. The book actually addresses several different issues, but I’ll just focus on the main thing right now: a trial. A black man is accused of raping a white girl. Basically a sure death sentence, regardless of his guilt or innocence. Problems arise, not only for the man, but also for his lawyer Atticus and his family.
Book vs. Movie:
Let me begin with the book. It was impossible to put down. I think i read it in two days and was completely captured. What I appreciate a lot about Harper Lee’s novel is how many layers the story has. As I mentioned before a racial issue is addressed but also the question of gender. Scout acts more like a boy but is pressed into being a typical girl by her surroundings. Another interesting point is the caste system their hometown seems to consist of. Beside all those important subplots we simply have a kid growing up, struggling to understand the world.
One might think that the book gets confusing with all those different plot-strings but believe me, it all fits perfectly together. What I really appreciate is how differentiated the kids see the world. They are not portrayed as stupid or naïve. The want to get to know the world, understand more than you would think and put a lot of thought into many matters. For me the book contained many points that gave me food for fought.
I don’t say this often, but To Kill A Mockingbird is a book everybody should read. It simply contains points everyone should think about at least once in their life.
The movie adaptation followed in 1962, two years after the book was published. As I mentioned before, this film is considered to be among the best. First of all, I noticed that it is in a way quite different from the book. Due to the different way a telling the story and the length of the film most subplots were dropped. So the adaptation focuses almost completely on the trial thing. Despite the fact that I missed a bunch of things, the movie is impressive. Especially Gregory Peck got under my skin. His performance as Atticus was simple intense.
Basically the whole thing is very atmospheric being underlined by the fact that the film is in black/white.
Summing up I can clearly say that both book and movie are amazing. The only thing one could criticise are the subplots that could not be included into to film (for very logical reasons). So go and watch the movie but make sure to read the book afterwards to get the full impression!
Did you read the book? Watched the film? What do you think? Let me know in the comments!