Don Quixote, A Famous Hispanic Novel And It’s Adaptation To A Modern Movie

During history, there have been works that generate an impact in our society, works that remain prevalent throughout the years. The Ingenious Nobleman Sir Don Quixote of La Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes is one of these works. A couple of years ago, in 2015 came out a modern adaptation movie of the Spanish classic book, called Don Quixote the Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha, directed by Mahin Ibrahim, Austin Kolodney, Will Lowell, David Beier, and Dave Dorsey. They did their best making this adaptation as close as possible to the novel. In the movie, there are not as many details like there are in the book. They left things open to interpretation, and the viewers have to assume what happens.

The movie is about Alonso Quijano a gentleman around fifty years old and his mental breakdown caused by the number of cavalry books he read, that made him proclaim himself as the knight Don Quixote of La Mancha, and go out on adventures with his squire Sancho Panza. On the movie, there is not much explanation on how Alonso Quijano gets his mental breakdown. It was a real challenge for the directors of the movie to show all that the book says since it has 74 chapters.  So, they have to leave out several scenes of some adventures of Don Quixote leaving only the most important or what people know the best.

The most significant change that the film brings in relation to the book, is the appears of Dulcinea, the woman the main character of the novel, Don Quixote falls in love, even though he made this woman up. In the book she is a character that he made up, he falls in love with a woman that doesn’t exist and fights in her name. On the other hand, in the film, he falls in love with a woman and he starts calling her Dulcinea even though that wasn't her name, thinking she was a princess. The appearance of Dulcinea in the movie is a big change the directors made, they did that so people can have a better idea of the character of Dulcinea because in a book is easier to describe a person without having to make an appearance. In spite of this huge change, it does not lose the essence of the book.

The directors wanted to give a different tone that characterized the movie, they wanted to turn the novel into a comedy. The directors added some funny scenes and gave it a sense of humor to the craziness of Don Quixote. This is not such a radical turn Since in the book there is also some humor aspects like when Don Quixote corrected Sancho in his phrases and mistakes when he spoke.

One of the most famous adventures of Don Quixote is the adventure in which he battles the windmills, that scene the directors of the movie do well, they hook the audience very well because, it shows both points of view, what Don Quixote saw and what people with a healthy mind saw. On the side of Don Quixote, he saw giants who were about to attack him and he began to confront them with his spear, in this scene they make good visual effects making it more striking. Then they show Sancho Panza’s perspective, who was funny because they ridicule the main character, that was fighting against some windmills and ending up hurt. This is not the only scene the directors of the movie made with double perspective.

There are some events the directors of the movie change. After all the adventures on the movie, Alonso Quijano retrieves his mind thinking all was a dream. Later he realized that it was not a dream and he wants to go on his last adventure with his squire Sancho Panza who became really close to him, in one part of the movie Sancho even risks his life to save Don Quixote.  

It is complicated that an adaptation gets to be as popular as the novel. The directors of the movie wanted to give recognition to this magnificent novel, so they created a modern adaptation which can encourage many young people to read the book. It also helps you to better understand the novel, because in the book, Cervantes used archaic language which forces the reader to look further into the meaning. We can say that this kind of adaptations help us realize the impact that these literary works have generated in our society.

Works Cited

  • Don Quixote the Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha. Directed by Mahin Ibrahim, Austin Kolodney, Will Lowell, David Beier, and Dave Dorsey, Performances by Carmen Argenziano, Horacio Sanz, and Luis Guzman, Rabbit Bandini Productions, 2015
  • De Cervantes, Miguel. The Ingenious Nobleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha. Spain, Francisco de Robles, 1605
16 December 2021
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