People always say the book is better than the movie. Well I am here to tell you that is accurate. Really all you need to do is watch a movie based on a beloved book and be completely and utterly disappointed by its silver screen performance to have many reasons why the book is always better than the movie, but I’m going to highlight a few of the main reasons.
When books are turned into movies events are often changed. Sometimes they are minor changes sometimes major, but they always seem to be exactly the piece that you love.
Don’t Understand the Movie? Read the Book!
Not only that but often the part of the plot that gets changed from book to movie, whether minor or major, leaves a big gaping hole in the story. This leads to confusion in the audience who haven’t read the book, anger in those who have, and worst of all misinformation about parts of the story.
Sometimes I feel I need to scold people when they walk out of seeing a movie based on a book who say, “Well that was good, but I didn’t really understand some of it.” Read the book! You’d be amazed how many gaps will be filled in if you do that instead of just relying on the movies.
Once I overheard some women discussing Harry Potter. One of them was very confused about the relationship between two of the characters, and another one explained it. She got everything wrong, but she was very certain that she was correct.
I knew immediately that they had not read any of the books. It took all of my willpower not to turn to them and give them a crash course on everything Harry Potter, and end by telling them to read the books.
I had a professor in college who loved The Lord of the Rings, and he said he could always tell whenever people had only seen the movies. They always referred to them as a trilogy. It’s not a trilogy. The Lord of the Rings is actually one big volume broken up into six books not three. Those who have read the book know that.
My professor was always annoyed with the trilogy people who claim to love The Lord of the Rings so much. If you think it’s a trilogy you may love the movies, but you don’t love the real Lord of the Rings.
What Book is this anyway?
Sometimes certain points of books are not left out of movies. Sometimes the entire plot of the story is completely changed. So much so that even if you have read the book, you leave the theatre just as confused as everyone else. So much so you’re not even sure if what you saw was actually based on the book it said it was.
One example I have of this is Percy Jackson and the Olympians The Lightning Thief. I love this book, I love the whole series. The movie was vastly disappointing.
Aside from the fact that they used the same title and character names it could have been a completely different story. This happens much more often than people think, and it is always hugely disappointing to the people who truly love the book and are looking forward to seeing it come to life on screen.
I do understand that as a movie that will be under three hours, screenwriters cannot include everything from book to movie. Some things will get lost in translation.
That’s another reason why books are always better than the movies. Books have more space. They can flush out everything.
Even when the movie actually stays pretty close to the mark there are always some things that don’t get put in. In the book you have access to everything. Every single piece of information is put in regarding the story so you never feel lost or confused (even if you have to read it a few times).
Tips for Book-based Movie Watching
Now I am not saying do not go to movies based on books. I certainly do and the way things have been lately if you don’t go to movies based on books you may never go to the movies again. When you do here are some tips to help you enjoy the movie instead of spending the entire time complaining about how it’s nothing like the book:
- Know going in that this movie will not be like the book. Remember things always get taken out from book to movie whether small or big. Prepare for both.
- The author of the book usually has very little or no say in the writing of the movie script. Understand that this happens.
- Remember there is a limited amount of time to work with in a movie so don’t go in expecting everything to be gone into in detail. It won’t be. Make peace with that now.
- There are things that you can get from the movie that you can’t get in the book. Like getting to see the characters you love come to life, or maybe there was an action sequence that can be better clarified on the screen then in words. Find those things and focus on them (instead of everything that they got wrong).
- Enjoy the movie as a movie and try not to compare it too much to the book. You’ll only be disappointed, and you might miss out on a movie that actually is a good.
Now of course even following these tips you’re probably going to find a movie that has disgraced the book so much nothing will stop you from being angry and that’s perfectly fine.
Let’s face it even if the movie is good the book will always be better, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the movie too. They’re going to keep making them and we’ll all keep seeing them; we might even enjoy a few.
But the book will always be better than the movie, so remember: