Don’t get me wrong, I love films. I mean, as a Creative Media student, I’m sort of obliged to say that right? But seriously, I love them as much as anyone else. I truly appreciate the art of cinema and think it’s fantastic how ideas from a single persons head can be made into something on screen, using the talent of hundreds of people, that can be enjoyed by thousands, perhaps even millions, of other people around the world, however, when it comes to film adaptations of books, I will always stand by the fact that the books are so much better than the films.
Firstly, you can take books anywhere. I’m well aware that as technology is evolving, you can also take films anywhere, but with books, you don’t have to worry about storage, WiFi, data plans, headphones.. Books don’t need to charge, buffer to have the volume adjusted. All you have to do with a book, is pull it out of your bag while you are sat on public transport, for example, and just indulge into the world of literature.
Books also give a lot more ‘screen time’ to secondary characters, whereas films mostly focus on the the main characters. Finnick Odair is an absolutely fantastic character in The Hunger
Games.. well.. in the books that is. In the films, they don’t do him the
same justice as they do in the books. Films mostly follow the main character and the story arc whereas books are so much better at dealing with subplots, and introducing backstories of these secondary characters and in return, understanding their actions and where they’re coming from.
Films also miss out some parts of the plot. Granted, some parts may not seem important, but perhaps. to fans of the book, they are extremely important parts to the story. For example, in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, just as the Dursley’s are departing, Dudley and Harry share a conversation, in which Dudley says something to Harry which is significant to all Potterheads around the world. ‘I don’t think you’re a waste of space..’. I feel like cutting this from the films was a huge mistake, as it shows a much reformed version of Dudley, rather than the cruel one that we had met 6 books prior. Instead, the audience is left which the impression that Dudley hasn’t changed at all. I’m aware that they have to leave things out of films, due to films having to be a certain length, otherwise people will get bored, but it’s such a shame that they leave out significant events and replace them with more actions to entice and excite the audience.
With books, you can let your imagination run wild. You can imagine what the young witches and wizards look like, roaming around the Hogwarts corridors. You can imagine what the Arena looks like, as Katniss Everdeen runs, crawls, and climbs, with her bow and arrow in tow, trying to survive. You can imagine how the tears roll down Isabella Swan’s face as she says her vows under the flower covered arc, joined by her husband to be, Edward Cullen. You aren’t conformed to what the Director wanted you to see. You can see in your mind, whatever you make it to be.
Books are also the start of a story. No one has ever watched a film and thought ‘This would be brilliant, if it were made into a book!’, however many people have read a book and wondered what it would be like, as a film, and how someone else has imagined and perceived the same world and characters that you have.
The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader. That’s why we go to movies and say, ”Oh, the book is better.” – Paulo Coelho
What’s your favourite book to movie adaptation, and what’s your least favourite? What are your thoughts on this subject?