The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay is one of my favorite books ever. If you've never read it, I highly recommend it. A story of struggle and triumph on more than just the personal scale.
I first read the book when I was in high school on the recommendation of a socials teacher. She lent me her copy. I read it and I loved it and I keep re-reading it.
I've always been told that there was a movie of it as well. I was told that the movie really wasn't that good. Just now, 14 years later, I've finally seen the movie and it wasn't that bad. I've seen worse (the night I was forced to watch Stepbrothers comes quickly to mind).
I can say that it is ever so loosely based upon the book. The message is there but it lacks the character development and a truly cohesive plot. I always imagined that it would be difficult to really transform this book into a movie. The message is too deep to really put it in a movie format without making it far too long.
The movie was a jumble of scenes from the book, not always in the exact same order the book had them in and it showed. It really did feel as if they took a few key scenes and filled in some blanks to make it look like they had a plot.
I guess I'm a little hard on movies, but I enjoy watching them enough that it has to be particularly horrendous for me to just plain hate. even a movie I enjoy watching will often get picked apart since I am a sucker for character development and plot.
Although after picking a part Thor to a friend of mine her response was "Well, it's really just a movie that you watch for the eye candy. Plot and character development come second to that."
PS - if this made any sense, I'll be amazed. I woke up at 2am this morning. That's right. Still not sleeping well. :(