Don’t judge a book by its movie

Holly New

Have you ever seen a movie based on a book by Stephen King? If so, forget everything you saw and go read the book.

I’ll wait.

Generally, movie adaptations are arguably—and I am arguing—worse than their book counterparts. I have rarely seen a movie which I thought was better than the book.

This is my plea: Don’t judge a book by its’ movie.

Movies, by design, have limitations in recreating stories.

First of all, they are limited on time. Atlas Shrugged is over 1,000 pages long; even a six-hour miniseries isn’t enough to display the many intricacies the novel includes. They are also limited on casting. A book can develop any character they wish, however they wish. It is the casting director’s job to find people to fit those roles, and oftentimes this is impossible.

Movies are also infected with the director’s point-of-view. Everybody interprets books differently, and as a director you are given the opportunity to show your audience your spin. Many times, that just isn’t as good.

Take The Lovely Bones, for example. The director decided to increase focus on Susie Salmon’s time in heaven and cut out about the last third of the book from the movie. Needless to say, I was a little disappointed.

Finally, sometimes, books just don’t translate as well into movies. When I read The Hunger Games, I was constantly absorbed in the story, finding it difficult to put it down, but five minutes into the movie and I was yawning. I’ll just say good background music can’t make up for a slow movie.

Books become popular usually because they are well-written and include a good storyline. So why do movie producers insist on fixing what isn’t broken?

The world may never know.