Historical Accuracy In Films

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This essay will examine the discourse around historical adaptation and the effects it has on adaptation. Accordingly, this will be demonstrated by using the examples of the source films Pride and Prejudice, and their film adaptations by Joe Wright and Baz Luhrmann respectably. This essay will begin with a brief explanation of fidelity discourse in order to outline the expectations an audience has about historical accuracy in films. Moreover, the work of George Bluestone on adaptations will be discussed. Therefore arguing that it is impossible to perfectly transfer the details of a time period from book to film. Thus it is more worthwhile to analysis how filmmakers play with the idea of a time period to create new meaning, rather than dismiss …show more content…
This is due to the fact that many different forms of media can be used in the adaptation making processes such as films, games, tv shows and graphic novels (161). This coupled with the fact that today’s adaptations are made for multiple reasons, shows that adaptations aren’t necessarily worse than the source text and that “they cannot be reduced to an interest in slavishly reproducing a novel on film” …show more content…
However, not only is it unfair to expect perfection of historical accuracy in films, it is impossible. This can be attributed to multiple factors. Firstly, Bluestone argues that content of a film and novel cannot be expected to transpose from one medium to another (Preface VIII). This is because the two mediums differ vastly from each other. Therefore, it is problematic to compare the two. For example, novels are excellent at portraying how the characters think and feel. The reader gets more than a glimpse inside the minds of the characters and is able to see their stream of consciousness on the page. Such feats are impractical for film creators to achieve. Due to the fact that you can’t capture a character's internal monologue on screen unless the director decides to utilise voice overs. However doing so would be taxing on the film’s quality. Moreover, there are limits to what a film can produce (24). In a novel, the only limitations are the author’s creativity and the reader suspension of disbelief. Yet films endure multiple limitations such as budgets, access to locations, availability of actors, special effects and animation technology, censorship laws, ethics committees and in all honesty, sometimes the laws of physics. Thus it is ludicrous to expect every detail of the novel to transfer to

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