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Stephen King dislikes Kubrick's adaptation of 'The Shining'

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Renowned American novelist, Stephen King, has expressed his dislike of the cinematic adaptation of his best-selling novel, The Shining, by Stanley Kubrick.

In an interview with Rolling Stones magazine, King said Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 movie basically failed to be loyal to the spirit of the novel, adding, “The book is hot, and the movie is cold; the book ends in fire, and the movie in Ice.”

In the writer’s view, Jack Torrance, the main character of his novel, stands as an ordinary person whose objective is to be a good individual, but he gradually proceeds towards the state of craziness. In Kubrick’s adaptation, however, “Jack was crazy from the first scene,” King said.

King’s disapproval of the cinematic adaptation of The Shining is not an unprecedented issue. In an interview with BBC in 2013, King had also criticized Kubrick’s interpretation of the main female character of the movie, Wendy Torrance, performed by Shelley Duvall. As the writer imparts, Wendy’s character is utterly misogynistic, in a way that she does nothing but screaming and depicting her denseness. This character appears to be dissimilar to what the writer created in his novel.

Despite such sights, King acknowledges that a large number of the people cherished and praised the movie, though he should not be questioned if there are such discrepancies in opinions. “I don’t get it. But there are a lot of things that I don’t get. But obviously people absolutely love it, and they don’t understand why I don’t.”

Since Kubrick’s movies are replete with allusions along with peculiar symbols, some critics, with reference to the director’s art of symbolism, suggested that Kubrick never intended to be flatteringly loyal to King’s novel. Clinching to symbolic interpretations, for instance, in the book, Jack’s Volkswagen is red, but in the movie, the car is yellow, and in a vivid scene, it passes a red Volkswagen which is badly crushed on the road.

In another part of the Rolling Stone interview, King addressed some of the best cinematic adaptations of his literary works. He regarded Stand by Me as “true to the book,” which kept the “emotional gradient of the story.” Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and Misery were among his other preferred features.

Kubrick’s The Shining was released on May 23, 1980, and according to some of the most prominent movie critics such as late Roger Ebert and Jan Harlan, it is regarded as one of the most awe-inspiring horror movies of all time.


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