I tried to make sense of why I was so obsessed with Hannibal, But, I couldn’t. There was always fuss about the comparison. Is the movie better than the book? Or was the book better than the Television series? Or movie being better than both the books and the Television series? So what did I do to see the difference? I watched the movie, and I read the book.
The Silence of the Lambs, the movie, was unusually faithful to the book. Dozens of lines of dialogue were right away lifted from the book; many of the best ones, in fact. The screenplay was also skillfully modified, since almost every change in the movie was a development on what was in the book, and things that were polished over in the movie were things that the book defined in more detail than we really needed to know.
The film contains less description than the book, of course. But here is the main story-line, So Dr. Hannibal Lecter is approached by a young cadet with tortured past about an interview, which is later revealed to be part of an investigation regarding a serial killer that skins his victims. During their encounters, Hannibal gets fond of Clarice Starling, cadet and with main saying, ‘Quid Pro Quo’ he offers Clarice a chance to capture the Buffalo Bill, the serial killer. Using the details provided by Lecter, Clarice guesses that Buffalo Bill considers himself a transgender (when he isn’t) and is creating a “woman suit” because he craves their skin. Clarice figures out that he knew his first target, Francesca Bimmel, and then travels to Ohio to search for more clues. Her search leads her to a local seamstress. The seamstress was no longer living there, but the new tenant turns out to be the murderer. A chase through the serial killer’s puzzle-like basement starts, resulting in Starling gunning down Jame Gumb and rescuing Catherine Martin.
So the long speeches Hannibal gives when talking to Clarice were often hard to grasp in the book but they are amply clear in the film, with Anthony Hopkin’s phenomenal performance. Since almost all of the dialogue in the book is imitated exactly in the film, I find myself hearing Anthony Hopkins say each word which I could listen every time I watched the film, and I would just hear the story as it was in the film, instead of thinking, hey this is a book. There was a song I really felt intrigued from, it was called ‘Goodbye Horses’ which refers to an eastern philosophy to represent the five senses. It narrates that the flying part means that a person would escape the shell of this body to become something else. The words were, “Goodbye Horses, I’m flying over you, Goodbye horses, I’m flying, flying, flying over you”
According to IMDB this film won Oscars in all five categories: Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. Fun fact is that Anthony Hopkins won Best Actor for acting for almost 16 minutes in the film. And he did a great job doing them. Here is what I learned in the film:
Everyone goes through the phase of change or metamorphosis, the storyline explains how people transform under certain conditions and every character in the film wants to bring a change.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate the movie 9 being the best adaptation I have seen, along with Lord of the rings or the Hobbit. The book 10 because it is one of the most intriguing, most beautifully written books I have ever read.