{Monday Musings} Book vs Movie

musingmondays41Musing Mondays from Should Be Reading asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

  • Describe one of your reading habits.
  • Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
  • Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
  • Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
  • Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

My Answer: Today I’ll be taking advantage of the new musing options and rambling, ranting, and generally discussing books and their movies.

Have you ever read a great book and wondered how it would be as a movie? Personally, I’ve done this dozens… if not hundreds… of times. Occasionally, I get to see it happen and I’m left wondering why I was s excited the movie was made. It’s never as great as the book.

I think the issue with making a book into a movie is that it is only one person’s vision of the book. Even if the author is very descriptive, your imagination will create its own unique vision. One person’s idea of beautiful green eyes may be a different shade from another’s. My vision of the perfect spot on the beach may have a different view from yours. The chiseled jaw of the hero she is reading about may be just slightly more angular than the hero he is reading about. Translate this all into actual images that others can see, and you may end up with disappointment.

It’s also very difficult to incorporate every nuance of the book into its movie version. There is simply too much constraint on time to allow for it. The story has to be told in fast forward to keep moviegoers in their seats. Even the epic Hobbit series… currently at four movies and two more on the way, had to make some cuts and changes.

This isn’t to say all books made into movies have been a tragedy. I’ve enjoyed some really great interpretations of books. My personal favorites include Jane Eyre, The Hobbit, several Jane Austin novels, DaVinci Code, and more recently Hunger Games. In every case, though, the book still beat the movie by miles.

The key, in my opinion, to enjoying a movie that originated from a book is to watch the movie first. It allows you to enjoy the movie for what it is without the tendency to pick apart what was changed and what was missed.

As the saying goes, nothing ruins a good book like its movie.

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