Daily Thought #57

Like many literary lovers, I have always been excited about movie adaptations of books I love. However, inevitably they always turn out worse than the book. Even brilliant adaptations (like the Lord of the Rings Trilogy) leave out important intricacies from the books (like Eowyn and Faramir’s romance). However, there are a few movies that live up to their books, such as To Kill A Mockingbird (1962), based on Harper Lee’s exceptional novel. In my opinion, there are two reasons why movies are rarely as good as the books they are based on.

First: time. Honestly, even with exceptional the filmmakers and actors, movies usually compress a three hundred page+ book into an hour and a half to two hour movie. Cuts have to be made and inevitably some of the things cut will simplify the plot (like characters or scenes). This is why I prefer TV series based on books (like Game of Thrones). They can take their time in telling a story and add more characters.

Second: filmmaker/studio choices. In a book, there is usually one creative mind behind it (though publishers may have some say). Thus, everything comes out the way the author sees it. However, in movies it is more complicated. Studios are out to make money, so they may force change in a movie because they think it will sell (for example, adding sex). Even if this is not the case, the filmmakers envision the film differently than some of the readers see it. They believe certain things are important. They change things to be “creative.” Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Either way, it changes the film from the book.

What is your favorite movie based on a book? On the other hand, what it your least favorite movie based on a book you love?

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