A Thousand Splendid Suns vs. Osama Story-telling through film and story-telling through novels are both good ways to convey a story but they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Story-telling through film is a great way to help visual audiences get the full outward impact of the story and see what is happening right in front of them without having to imagine it. Film creates the world of the story right in front of an audience without the audience having to try and think about what the author is trying to create.
In saying this though, film takes away all imagination and gives you only one way to see the world the author has created. There is no flexibility in what the audience is seeing, there is just what the film makers have created and nothing more.
In the movie Osama we saw how Espandi reacted to Osama being chased out of the camp because she was a girl and we assume he is upset that she has been caught but because we have no access to his thoughts through the film we have only assumptions (and you know what they say about assuming .
) Film also, for the most part, gives you an incredible look at the outside world but does not give you a full view of what is going on inside the characters. This may take away the understanding of a character’s motivations, actions, thoughts, etc. Novels, however, give the reader a look at what is inside at least one characters mind; their motivations, thoughts, reasonings, etc.
This helps the readers understand the characters as a whole and helps them sympathize with certain characters.
Not that that is not possible in films but novels give us more opportunities to do this by giving us an inside peek into the character’s mind. The novel A Thousand Splendid Suns, for example, constantly gives us an inside look into Mariam’s mind and what she is thinking and why she does what she does. This, I believe, helps us understand her more as a character. Novels, because they are not visual adaptations, also leave room for the use of imagination. Novels may describe a person, place, or thing but it is up to us as the readers to actually form that picture in our minds or if we want to, to change that picture. Novels give us complete freedom to see the author’s world as we want to see it. The film Osama helped me see Kabul in real life and get a mental picture of a place I have never seen or experienced.
It showed me specifically what it looked like and how the people there were treated. It showed me the everyday life of the people that lived there. I think it would have worked well as an introduction for the novel A Thousand Splendid Suns because it set the tone and place for this novel and would have given me a better understanding of where everything was taking place. I do not feel as though I could picture Kabul in the book but I could clearly see it in the movie. The novel however gave me an insight to its characters that I did not get from the movie. I felt the emotions, at a lower level, that the girls felt as she went through her life.
I felt the rage of Laila and the bitterness of Mariam. The novel moved me to tears in a way that the film never could. There are some things that only words can describe and some things that you can only understand and connect with if they are views. I felt that both the film Osama and the novel A Thousand Splendid Suns gave a story that enchanted me and made me feel connected to the characters they portrayed while still telling two stories that are similar and yet so vastly different, in part due to the characters and how much of them we can understand from what has been given to us.