Is the book better or its movie adaptation? Nothing divides a room full of bibliophiles and movie buffs into opposing camps faster than this question. Purists will tell you to never ever watch the movie before reading the book. Realists will point out the difficulty of ploughing through doorstopper classics in archaic English and historical settings. Aesthetes will complain about new editions that have the movie poster plastered on the cover. Some screen adaptations will get trashed and some lauded.In our first Book vs Film edition, we talk about Kingsman: The Secret Service. Such a discussion is always subjective and so is ours.But first, a word about the plot to refresh your memory.
The comic tells the story of Gary Unwin or Eggsy who lives in London with his mother, a baby brother and an abusive stepdad. Things change when Eggsy’s uncle, James London, steps into their miserable lives and takes him under his wing. London is a secret agent who gets Eggsy enrolled into the spy academy. London is investigating mysterious kidnappings of celebrities, and a billionaire eco-terrorist working on a rather extreme solution to climate change.
The movie tweaks the plot majorly and introduces new characters. In a win for gender and diversity, it makes the villain a black man (Samuel L Jackson as Richmond Valentine) and his henchman, Gazelle, a woman. It also gives a peek into the history of the Kingsman, a secret global spy agency, and makes Eggsy the kind of underdog you’d want to root for. But the best thing about the film is Colin Firth, who plays the gentleman spy Harry Hart (no longer Eggsy’s uncle but his father’s former colleague).