I saw this film back in January and it wasn’t until afterwards that I realised it was based on a book. I bought and read the book in February and, I’ve been meaning to write this ever since really. This will be a short one, but here goes.
What I loved was the fact there was virtually no difference between the book and the film. It’s very rare for writers and producers to stay so close to the original book, but in this case I don’t think I could have counted more than a handful of differences, if that. And, even with those changes, I completely understood why they made them and, they didn’t take anything away from the story.
It’s different to read it than it is to view it. In some ways I felt like I could take myself away from the book more than I could the film. With a book you can put it down, but with a film, you’ve seen it. I know that sounds weird. What I really mean is with a book it’s your imagination in play so you decide how to interpret it, whereas with a film that was the directors choice and, you can’t ignore the brutality of it.
12 Years A Slave is a book that I will keep forever and, when I have a bad day or I’m feeling particularly selfish, I will get this book and remind myself to be grateful for what I have. Because it could be a lot worse.
One thing about the book that I did appreciate was the information about some of the captors who sold Solomon into slavery. In the film we don’t know much, but the book clarifies a lot and we learn just how unjust so many things were back then.
For once, I’m going to say that if you don’t read the book then please watch the film. And watch it again. And again. Until everyone understands the horror and brutality that some people were put through.