The Bourne Identity: Book vs Movie

By: Rahul Shetty

Carlos the Jackal

In the book, Carlos the Jackal plays a large role in the development of the plot. Carlos is an assassin who is considered to be the most dangerous terrorist of his time. He plays a large role in the plot by organizing attacks on Bourne and also controlling the murders that take place. However, despite playing such a prominent role in the novel, Carlos the Jackal is not even mentioned once in the film. This really takes away from the intricacy of the story because things were much more intense and tight strung in the book, whereas the novel was not nearly as effective in producing these same effects.

Attacks on Bourne

Throughout the novel, Bourne is faced with random attacks from Carlos' men and he is forced to fight for his life on several occasions. For example, Bourne is attacked in Switzerland by two men while he is in an elevator. He instinctively defends himself, thus revealing his skills. This scene, among others like this, does not take place in the film which really takes away from creating a full fledged image of Jason Bourne. The book, through scenes like this, really describes his personality and his tendencies, whereas the film does not help the audience fully understand who Jason Bourne really is.

Meeting Of Marie

In the book, Bourne meets Marie when he takes her hostage because he is being attacked by random men at the bank. In order to escape, he takes Marie hostage and forces her to drive a stolen car in order to get away from the danger. In the film, Bourne is running away from the police, and he encounters Marie and offers her money for her to drive him to Paris. The book's version of the plot is a lot more dramatic and intense, whereas the film's version is not nearly as enthralling. Much like the majority of the story, the book is much more interesting to read than watching the movie.

Bourne's Relationship with Marie

In the novel, the author writes about a series of events that leads to the strengthening of the relationship between Bourne and Marie. One such example of this occurs when Bourne and Marie are captured and taken to two different places. Bourne goes on to kill his captors and saves Marie from being raped. However, he is shot during the process and they both escape and go to a hotel so that Jason can recover. Incidents like this is mentioned in the book quite a lot, whereas the movie does not bother to cover these scenes. In failing to do so, the movie really takes away from the social/human aspect of this plot as it does not portray the love that is slowly growing between Bourne and Marie. Without the development of this relationship, the movie is really lacking in that it does not do a good job in fully making the story as good as it can possibly be.

The Ending

In the book, it is clear that Jason Bourne is innocent and that he was framed. However, in the movie, it seems as if he is an assassin after all, working for the CIA. This difference between the movie and the book might not affect a majority of the plot for the first book in this series, The Bourne Identity, however, it plays a huge role in the future books and movies in this series. Bourne being an assassin in the movie changes the entire plot for the coming sequels in this series.