When your favorite book becomes a movie, it’s exciting to say the least. You just can’t wait to see the characters you fell in love with in the pages on the big screen. However, it’s hard to say if the movies really do the books justice.
In my opinion, I think, for the most part, movies usually do not. Movies can’t fully convey exactly what the book does because of time constraints, as well as the fact that sometimes a lot of a book’s plot occurs inside a character’s head. It probably wouldn’t be that interesting of a movie if all you did was listen to the thoughts of the character on screen. Directors have to make certain decisions that may change parts of the book.
Let’s take “The Hunger Games” as an example. I enjoy the minor details, so I noticed there were quite a few discrepancies in the film adaptation that bothered me. One such detail was the movie removed an entire character that was supposed to be Katniss’s friend. This friend gave Katniss the mockingjay pin that ultimately became the symbol of the rebellion.
The film chose to make it a random gift from an old lady, which in my opinion makes it lose a lot of its worth. For those that read the book, the mockingjay pin is much more symbolic and important because it came from a friend. Instead of one friend giving a final parting gift to a girl she may never see again, the movie reduces it to a token from a stranger.
However, I do admit that sometimes there are decisions that are made which make the film version more successful. In the final movie of the Twilight Saga, there is a great battle that is notably absent from the books. A movie audience needs to see a little action, thus the battle that originally occurred in Alice’s head was portrayed on screen. The movie stayed true to the books, but gave the viewers the action that they desired. That’s what people hope for when their favorite books hit the theaters: the things you could only see in your imagination right there in front of you.
Readers aren’t the only ones who go out to see the movie. There are plenty of people who only watch the movies and never bother to read the book. I, myself, have never read the “Harry Potter” books, but have watched every movie. I liked the movies, despite that there were definitely a lot of things that weren’t as clear to me as it was to my friends who had read the books. I also wasn’t able to connect with these characters as many of my friends had; I didn’t feel the urge to cry when any of the characters lost their lives. I was sad, but I was definitely not heartbroken.
The most recent book-to-movie, “Divergent,” poses a similar problem. I had read the book and was excited to see the movie over spring break. However, I wasn’t really that impressed with the way the movie played out. My family though, who came to watch it with me, thought it was really good. There were definitely some things that they didn’t understand and some things that were underplayed, like Christina and Will and the Factions themselves. But as a whole, they enjoyed the movie.
The movie versions will never compare to the books. They won’t have all the tiny details and descriptions that you’d find in a book, and for me, those tiny details can make or break the movie. I know the movies have to tell the story to those who know it and those who don’t; and, to accommodate both, the movie will probably be slightly different. I strongly believe that books will beat out the movie 10 times out of 10, but there’s definitely no harm in going out to watch the movie.