Book adaptation is kind of a funny movie

Book adaptation is kind of a funny movie

photo courtesy of Focus Features

Zach Galifianakis does an exceptional job portraying the seemingly carefree yet inwardly troubled companion of the main character, Craig.

Katie Sisk, staff writer

Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck seamlessly manage to address the heavy subject of mental illness in a light and quirky manner while working to reduce the stigma associated with the issue in their movie version of the novel “It’s Kind of a Funny Story.”

Set in “3 North,” the adult mental floor of a hospital, “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” delves deep into the mind of a clinically depressed teen, skillfully illustrating the trials and tribulations of the overstressed Craig Gilner (Kier Gilchrist) and his encounters with several other similarly burdened mental patients while maintaining a light-hearted humor.

This light-hearted humor sets the style for the movie. With a quirky and slightly indie feel, it owns a deep message without feeling heavy.

The adaptation from print to screen succeeds in not skimping on the important things. It skims over certain parts, but goes into great detail for the essential points. The movie still manages to tell the full story despite the cuts that were made.

This film presents the perfect balance between drama, humor, and romance. This blend, in addition to occasional pop-art-like visual scenes, adds to the appeal. Each scene has its intended effect.

The audience meets each character as Craig gets to know him or her. Each character develops differently, some more deeply than others, all with their own message to the audience. Muqtada (Bernard White) who never leaves his room––even to shower––shows that when you are too afraid to venture outside your comfort zone, you miss a lot more than you realize.

Although each character exhibits certain extreme mental qualities, from schizophrenia to depression, they each have their own redeeming qualities such as Noelle’s talented drawings. Everyone will see a little bit of themselves in at least one of the characters, making the movie just that much more interesting.

Zach Galifianakis does an exceptional job portraying the seemingly carefree yet inwardly troubled companion of Craig, who secretly deals with depression while trying to find a home for when his stay at the hospital ends. He remains believable as each layer of his character is revealed, some more shocking than others.

Often, movies that deal with such a serious subject feel long and depressing, but this movie is an exception. Between the dialogue, characters, visuals, and message, “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” gets the message across without sacrificing style.