Just 8 days into 2016 I declared Brooklyn my favourite movie of the year. Since I’ve been in a book rut I didn’t even realize it was a book first, so when I found out it was based on a book by Colm Toibin off to Book City I went. To be honest with you, I was nervous about reading it. It’s not my genre of choice but I can tell you I was pleasantly surprised. Now that I’ve read the book and seen the movie, I’m comparing the two just for you! There will be spoilers ahead of the book and movie so if you don’t want to hear them, just skip this post!
If you know nothing about either, Brooklyn is the story of a girl named Eilis(played by Saoirse Ronan) who emigrates to Brooklyn from Ireland.
Now that I’ve read the book and seen the movie, I’m comparing the two here just for you!
The movie cuts out a lot of the beginning
The book spends a LOT of time detailing Eilis’ life in Ireland. The book makes it crystal clear as to WHY she is moving because there obviously is literally nothing for Eilis in Ireland but with the movie the opening scene is of Eilis already prepping for her life in Brooklyn.
Her brothers don’t exist
In the book, Eilis talks about her brothers a LOT but in the movie they are nonexistent.
The boardinghouse mother Mrs. Kehoe doesn’t hear Eilis having sex
In the movie, Eilis manages to NOT wake Mrs. Kehoe while she and Tony are having sex which I’m sure is a relief since in the book Mrs. Kehoe hears them and causes a TON of chaos in the house.
The movie is a LOT funnier than the novel
The movie is definitely a dramedy that had me crying AND laughing but the book only had a few funny moments and would be described more as a serious novel.
The ending is different
If I’d read the book before I’d seen the movie, I feel like this would have been a deal breaker for me and I wouldn’t have liked the movie because the ending is different. Both the book and the movie feature Eilis deciding to return to New York and confessing to her mother that she is married. Yet while the book ends with Eilis leaving her Irish town, the movie shows her on the boat, and then back in New York, reuniting with Tony. It’s a more definitive ending, and it makes her choice extremely clear.
Yes, there are differences and some would say HUGE differences but to me it’s a great adaptation, one that should satisfy book fans and newcomers alike.
So tell me, have you seen both the movie and book? Just read the book or movie? Tell me what you thought of it!