George Roy Hill's movie adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's novel Slaughter-house Five is a fairly accurate version that stays relatively close to Vonnegut's own vision. Throughout Vonnegut novel Billy Pilgrim, a WWII soldier who was captured by the Germans and held captive as an American POW (prisoner of war), demonstrates several extreme compulsive tendencies due to the horrific events he witnessed as an American POW victim. After reading of Billy’s experiences, I did not have faith in the movies ability to accurately present Vonnegut's own personal feelings. On the contrary, after seeing George Hill's movie adaptation of Slaughter-house Five, I felt that the he did an extremely nice job in keeping with what Vonnegut had intended to be seen and felt in his novel.
Surprisingly I was exceptionally impressed in the way Hill's movie succeeded in depicting the concept of the novel which I thought would be almost impossible to translate on to a movie screen. I found it difficult to envision how Hill would be able to display abstract topics such as "being unstuck in time" (Vonnegut) on the big screen. However, I was relatively impressed by the way Billy was able to travel around seamlessly to different points in his life just as he did in Kurt Vonnegut's novel. At times throughout Slaughter-house Five I found it rather challenging to follow Billy through all his time traveling. I was happily surprised that this was not the case for Hill's movie adaptation; for I had imagined that it would be much more difficult to follow in the movie as it was in the book.
I feel that Hill was able to flawlessly make the transition between Billy’s time traveling events more easy to follow by incorporating an aspect that Vonnegut did not use in his novel. In Slaughter-house Five Billy Pilgrim time traveling seems to occur at the drop of a dime, with him at the mercy of time itself. However Hill was able to come up with a solution, for what seem like completely random time traveling without any rhyme or reason. When Billy traveled to a different portion of his life, in the movie, Hill seems to always connect it to the portion that he had been in prior to traveling. For example, if Billy happened to be lying in his bed at the hospital he would travel forward and you would find him lying down at that time as well. These helpful solutions provided a smooth changeover that was easy to follow all through the movie.
In my opinion I did not think there was any noticeable plot difference between the novel and the movie. Hill, I felt, was able to do a good job in expressing the novel as precisely as possible. I expected there would be a difficulty in keeping Billy as the hapless individual that Vonnegut depicts, which was not the case at all. Hill managed to accomplish the feat with the use of the time traveling as well as providing the moviegoer with a deeper view into the other characters. I was happily surprised to learn more about characters who were...