A huge source of debate among avid readers is whether the book is better than the movie, or the movie is better than the book.
I didn’t start really engaging in these debates until I was finally able to read/watch Harry Potter. It wasn’t until 2010 that I got to finally sit down and read the series from start to finish. There were 6 movies out at the time I started reading them, and I vowed to read every single book before watching any of the movies.
I finished them all, and then we binged the first 6 movies JUST in time to hit up the midnight release of Deathly Hallows pt. 1.
Naturally, the book fresh in my memory still, I couldn’t help but compare the two against each other. And like most people, at first, this was how I felt.
I finished the series and originally just felt kind of blah about it. Sure, the movies were great, but….
The BUT is the problem here. On its own, that sentence should say “THE MOVIES WERE GREAT.”
The problem with comparing the book and the movie is that they shouldn’t be compared.
I feel so passionate about that sentence I’m going to post it again.
BOOKS AND MOVIES SHOULD NOT BE COMPARED.
Look, I get it. The movie is based on the book. It has the same title, same characters, same basic plot, etc. But the big term here is based on. Nowhere does it say “direct adaptation of Catching Fire” anywhere on the movie poster. I took a cinematic adaptation class and wrote a direct adaptation. There’s a huge difference.
It took two wonderful film classes in college for me to really understand why this is a big deal. But ultimately, books and movies are completely different mediums, and they are each capable of different things.
Books can create these amazing stories and characters that are built upon things that are either very difficult or simply impossible for the movie to portray.
But I think the movie can bring so much more to the table as well. It creates potentially a different depth of emotion, because you’re seeing it instead of reading it. You can visualize this world/area that’s been set up in the scene.
My personal favorite addition to movies that books don’t have is the soundtrack. A fantastic soundtrack can make your movie so much more amazing!
Yes, I’ll agree that there are some movies that are just absolutely terrible in comparison to the book. The Hobbit series for example.
But as another personal example, I’ll admit to having watched several movies based off of Nicholas Sparks’ books, and it wasn’t until I watched The Last Song and then immediately read the book that I finally woke up to this revelation (that is, again, don’t compare the movie and the book).
The movie itself I loved. I’m no movie critic, and I’m quite a sucker honestly. But whatever, I loved the movie. And when I read the book for the first time a few days later, I loved them both even more.
Because on its own, the movie stood up really well. And sure, the book had way more detail, even went several chapters past the ending of the movie, but I realized that those details were some that weren’t necessary to the movie. It’s hard to realize I think when you’ve read all of these in depth details that just maybe the story would be fine without them.
I’ve now got myself to the point where I don’t read a book that is now a movie without seeing the movie first. I’m finally getting around to reading The Hunger Games (after I finish the books I need to review first), I really want to read the If I Stay series (that movie was great!), I’ll probably read the Divergent series after the last movie comes out, etc.
Because it IS really hard to separate the two, especially when the book is almost always more in depth than the movie.
Maybe it’s a personal preference. I know there are lots of bloggers out there who dedicate their posts to comparing the book and the movie, but I can say that will never be me. To each their own though of course. 🙂
I’m super curious. Do you compare the book and the movie?