Awesome Adaptations is a weekly meme hosted by Picture Me Reading, focusing on the book to movie adaptations we love. This week’s topic is an Awesome Non-Fiction Adaptation.
As mentioned on yesterday’s Top Ten Tuesday, I have actually read the non-fiction account of Frank Abgnale, Catch Me If You Can. In the book he tells the story of how as a brilliant but bored young man he went from conning his dad with a gas card to how he passed himself off as a doctor, a lawyer, and a pilot.
There are differences between the two stories, obviously. The movie does dramatize and condense some events. One of the main ways the film dramatizes the true story is by giving Abagnale (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) one clear protagonist in Carl Hanratty, played by Tom Hanks. In the film, the two are engaged in a true cat and mouse hunt, that begins when Abagnale dupes Hanratty into thinking he is an agent also looking for the con artist, to their annual phone conversations on Christmas Eve. And at the end, the two actually end up learning a lot from each other. I really enjoy watching the dynamic between the two of them on the screen.
This scene is a true standout for me, so much so that every time I hear “The Christmas Song,” I can’t not think about this scene:
Though I do find the movie more enjoyable, I do appreciate the additional insight the book brings, especially in who Frank Abagnale is as a person, and what exactly was going through his mind throughout his exploitations.
He also feels remorse for what he has done in the past, especially for the people he had hurt. And as explained in both the book and the movie, Frank is now working to help stop fraud.
Catch Me If You Can is an easy and interesting read; and the movie is a fun romp with serious undertones, and I feel a standout early performance of Leonardo DiCaprio’s.
Have you seen the movie or read the book? What are your thoughts?