I often find myself reading a book and thinking, “Wow, I would love to see a movie about this book.” However, the truth is when my wish comes true, I am ultimately disappointed. The Harry Potter series is one such example (I am a huge fantasy series fan so most of my examples will come from this category; I cannot help it). I found myself going to every single one of the movies when they came out because I was helpless to their appeal, yet I knew I would walk out dissatisfied with the results.
There is just so much detail you can get from a book that you can’t in a movie. You get to know the character better. That is why fans of books that become movies are often immediately in love with the actor (Robert Pattinson is a prime example), because they already have formed this connection and love with the character they only could have done by reading the book.
I do have to say, however, I have seen one movie I felt did the book justice. Although there have been movies based on three of C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia series (I have read the series several times through), I only wish to give credit to Disney’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The first book in the series is the one with which most people are familiar. In my opinion, director Andrew Adamson did a fantastic job of capturing the characters and the world of Narnia.
As for the other two movies made, ugh, they did not quite meet the expectations of the first. One example of the injustice done against the book is the hideous change in accent by Prince Caspian in both movies two and three. Age played another factor in the movies’ ruin. Prince Caspian actually is supposed to be much older than he is portrayed in the third movie, but they wanted to keep the same actor. Why? I have no idea. The only thing I can say for the third movie is that, in contrast to most movies based off books, the storyline was almost identical to the original.
Another movie recently up for discussion is the film based off the book The Help. In looking at critiques of this movie, most people seem to have loved the casting choices, especially for Aibileen and Skeeter, played by Viola Davis and Emma Stone, respectively. I personally have yet to read the book, but I did go see the movie. I ended up loving the story line and thought the acting was fantastic.
However, my friend Beth Hempstead had read the book previously and was slightly disappointed. She said she liked the movie but wished they had chosen different inserts from the book to put in the film and not put so much emphasis on the ones they did use. Like every book fan, she missed the left-out details. For this reason, I have not decided yet whether I want to go back and read the book or not. On one hand, I’ve heard it is a remarkable book; on the other hand, it might entirely ruin the movie for me knowing exactly what I had been missing.
I am sure to have a similar experience with book-turned-movie in my near future. Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games is going to be released as a feature film on March 23. I have watched every trailer possible on YouTube and have an impending sense of doom already. The trailers are short and vague, but I already don’t agree with their casting choices. I know I will be at the theater on March 23(as I trust all of you will be), and I always hope to be surprisingly impressed, however unlikely.