Comparing films to their paperback counterparts

Samantha Szilagyi, staff

The age-old film and literature question: are books better than their movie counterparts?

In almost every case, the answer is yes.

Now don’t get too far ahead of yourselves, I am not saying that every movie based on a book has been a failure. The problem is that when most people compare the movies to the books that they have become so heavily invested in, they are severely let down. This is not always because the movie was horrible, but rather because the amount of time allotted to cover the whole story in film is simply not enough.

One of the biggest problems when it comes to comparing the books to the movies is that people usually have unrealistic expectations.

A 500+ page book that takes you a day to read -if you are a huge nerd like myself- clearly cannot be represented fairly in a two and a half hour movie. The short movie version will not live up to the world that the author has created for you in the novel.

In books, there is so much more artistic creativity and room for your imagination to envelope yourself in their world.

In film, you have to create a dramatic masterpiece filled with visual effects, attractive actors, wit, and suspense all while still trying to keep true to the original storyline.

One of the most successful books turned into film would have to be The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Don’t get your panties in a knot Twihards and Potterheads, I’m not basing this on sales (even though The Lord of the Rings is ranked #6 on the highest grossing franchises and film series list), I’m basing it on the fact that it follows the storyline of the book to a T.

The actors were exceptionally well cast, the fight scenes were epic, and very little was left out.

Yes, the movies may be a little on the long side, but I’m sure most fans would rather sit through an extra hour and have more details kept in, than watch a film with made up storylines that were never a part of the book.

Now to all Potter fans and Twihards, I’m sure most would agree that the books will always be better than the movies, and for the sake of not getting hate mail, I refuse to compare Harry Potter and Twilight. In looking at them separately, the Harry Potter films were remarkably well done if you can get past the fact that they left out quite a few underlying stories.

As for Twilight, well, let’s just say it could have been better cast. However, despite these downfalls, millions of people still rushed to see these films on opening night, which has earned both of these films a spot on the top 10 highest grossing film series list.

Something to look forward to is the highly anticipated film release of The Hunger Games in March.

The line-up of actors looks amazing, and hopefully the film will live up to the hype. It might even be bigger than Twilight.

What this all really comes down to, though, is being able to separate your expectations of the film re-creating the book exactly.

Once you can see the film from a different perspective, I find you can usually appreciate it more.

And for all the hardcore and dedicated fans that may end up feeling let down by the film, just pick up the book again! That’s something that will never disappoint.

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