Books vs Movies

19 09 2010

Why are books so often better then the movie versions of them?

Have you ever noticed how when you watch a movie made from a book you have already read, it never lives up to the book version? I always get this sense. I have read so many books that were subsequently turned into movies. One of the most disappointing movies I saw that was based on a wonderful book, was Love in the time of Cholera. The book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez was absolutely brilliant. The lead character, in the book was a strong man, with determination and patience. In the movie, he seemed so weak and almost pitiful… that was one big disappointment for me.

Another film I didn’t like as much as the book was The English Patient. (Barring Ralph Fiennes). The same goes for Memoirs of a Geisha, The Lovely Bones and even The Da Vinci Code! More and more books are being made into movies with hardly any time in between the book arriving on the shelves and the movie in the cinema next door to you.

Take a look at the newer books for young people – the Harry Potter series, The Eclipse and the Twilight sagas. I can’t say much about either of these as I haven’t read the Harry Potter series, except for the first book, which I didn’t really enjoy. But I’m a realist by nature and I enjoy a different type of story.

I think the main reason for this recurring disappointment is that films leave little to my imagination. When I read, I guess I’m creating my own movie in my imagination, in a way – my own interpretation of what people look like, how they speak and what places look like. I get to decide these things. This process of imagining and creating and interpreting is so personal, that in a way it’s a creative process of my own. No movie could live up to the books in my head.

If you come across any movies that are as good as the books they are based on, do let me know and I will be sure to look them up!

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3 responses

19 09 2010
T

i know, i feel the same way. the harry potter movies are such a disappointment to me, mostly because they leave large chunks of the story out. And other movies because the characters are different from what i pictured in my head. The best book to movie i’ve seen so far is Bridget Jones’ Diary.

26 09 2010
Angel

I think T has hit the nail on the head. Somehow directors seem to suck at putting all the intricacies into a 2-3 hour movie. The ones that did seem true to form were the LOTR triology. Oh and Bridget Jones rocked too! 🙂

30 09 2010
Hans

Lord of the Rings was probably one of the most thought about and agonized over film adaptations of literature ever. I watched the near 12 hours of additional footage – and the level of detail and investment of self in that film I believe is unparalleled and would probably never be achieved again, because it take a BOOK like Lord of the Rings which every generation since it has been written has identified with, to make it happen. And Varad, I agree with you completely on Love in the Time of Cholera. I am reading GGM’s autobiography now and F^%&$ me… those who write what they have lived and pour that into literature are those that will live on… Dickens anyone? Dostoevsky? Lewis Carrol and Mark Twain?

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