13. Movie Adaptations of Books (a brief observation)

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If you’ve been keeping up with this blog, you would know by now that I love books. I also love movies based on books, and video games based on movies. To enjoy these forms of entertainment, though, I have to differentiate between the three, and acknowledge the differences that make each piece great.

The hardest to differentiate: Books and Movies

Within the last decade, Hollywood has adapted many popular books into films; and most of them have proven very successful. However, a large portion of book worms are constantly dissatisfied with the adaptations. When asked why they were disappointed, their responses were always, “Well, it’s because the movies were nothing like the books…”

But honestly, was it really a bad movie? Or was it just bad because the kissing scene was more passionate on paper than on screen?

After frequently hearing these complaints, I realized that many book worms had no idea how to properly analyze a film. They judged solely based on the book instead of on elements crucial to a movie.

The number one problem that these book worms have is that they can’t differentiate between literary and cinematic components. Some elements that make a book great won’t necessarily emerge the same on screen. This is because people think differently while reading opposed to watching. While reading, people (more or less) are open minded. When watching, people want the story to progress quickly. For example, in Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game (definitely one of my favorite books), Peter and Valentine (siblings of the protagonist, Ender) spend six or seven chapters discussing ways they can take over the world. While reading the book, my mind allowed for additional plots to infiltrate my imagination, creating a broader picture of the story as a whole. If those seven chapters had appeared on screen, however, I would have died of boredom. They would have introduced something that had nothing to do with the main arc, therefore slowing the pace of the story.

The bottom line is this: movies can’t be books, and books can’t be movies. Since this is true, then judging movies based on their books is completely pointless. It would be like eating a hot-dog, then complaining that it doesn’t taste like a hamburger…

Instead we should enjoy the different interpretations, and discuss them accordingly.

So what do you guys think? Do you agree with my point of view? Or are the complaints valid?

I highly encourage comments!



3 thoughts on “13. Movie Adaptations of Books (a brief observation)

  1. Logan,
    I love books and I love movies, too. I think you’re right that most people say, “The book was so much better than the movie!” Can you think of any movies you liked BETTER than the book? I know I have thought it a few times, but the time that comes to mind most readily is Forrest Gump. Great movie….terrible, awful, very bad book. I hated it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mrs. Ronk,

    I don’t think the “anonymous” is your fault. the Lingering Lamb is still young, and I haven’t fully figured out the settings. hehe 🙂

    I don’t believe it’s bad to prefer the movie over the book (or vise versa). When someone says, “I liked the movie better,” he believes the movie exemplifies his favorite scenes and aspects better than the book did.

    It’s also possible that he just doesn’t like books, and therefore prefers the movie every time…

    But yes, there are movies that I like better than the books. But only because the movies were better as “movies” than the books were as “books.”

    My point in this post, though, was to explain that we can only judge a movie based on what makes a movie good, not what makes a book good. Like I said above: Judging a movie based on the book would be like judging a hot-dog based on how good a hamburger was.

    Thanks for the comment 🙂


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