Sherlock Holmes became an exciting character for me the first time I saw the Robert Downey Jr in the movie Sherlock(2009) and also the 2011 sequel. I was blown away mostly by the good acting and secondly by the way the story played out. I must confess that the Victorian setting of the movie also played a role in my great interests in the famed investigator because before the movie was released, I was not aware that there were sophisticated characters in the 1800s who had the capacity to outwit even the best investigators of the 1900s and 2000s if given the chance, so I generally wanted to read about this Sherlock Holmes character and I was glad to hear the movie was adapted from a book. It would be worthy of note to state that I love all the Sherlock movies and TV shows I have seen so far with an exception to the CBS version of it called Elementary which I must also state that falls below all the standards I have ever had for an adaptation of the character of Sherlock Holmes.
I started reading the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle book in December 2016, and since I started I have learnt once more that because a book is adapted into a movie does not mean that the plot and storyline will be the same.
For example, I have been fortunate enough to have read almost all the Sherlock stories already adapted into movies and TV shows, and for one, Irene Adler did not die (or has not died yet, so far as I have read) in the book before Moriarty did like it happened in Sherlock Holmes- The Game of Shadows, although in the BBC One Sherlock TV show Irene Adler(The Woman / Dominatrix) was nearly killed but was saved by Sherlock (recalling that scene made me kind of happy again).
In the book and movie, Prof. Moriarty was described as was shown in the movie, but the account of how he died and how Sherlock escaped the Reichenbach fall and where the fall happened, and what happened after the fall differs a lot. Also in the TV show, the episode where Moriarty died was a far cry from the book. Nevertheless, this is not a criticism of the movie and/or the TV show vis-a-vis the book, but I could go on for days pointing out how and where the TV shows and movies did not follow the plot in the book and the movies made up a whole lot of theirs.
From the first movie adaptation of a book I saw(which is between Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter by the way), I always learnt with each one I saw that I needed to cut Hollywood some slack on how they make their own
movie adaptions of books.This is because as I have come to understand, movie adaptations of books are not just made for those who read the books alone, they are also meant for those who do not fancy reading but will rather see the movie instead. But then one would argue that “since the book is meant to be adapted into a movie, why not follow the story/plot strictly?” , I think this is mainly so because the directors have the creative freedom to do things their own way and add and remove from the story wherever they deem fit because in most cases making a verbatim adaptation may not work out as intended, while on the other hand, the author of a book writes in such a way that the readers’ imagination goes wild from the moment you lay your eyes on the first sentence.
Books are powerful for building the mind, but images are the fastest way to tell your stories behind spoken words, and we should learn to appreciate both, although I will more of a book nerd, I am starting to personally appreciate both too.