The Book Before the Movie: A Wise Decision
When we hear that a book we love is getting adapted into a movie, we all feel the same excitement. We can’t wait to see the characters we’ve imagined for so long on the big screen, watch the most epic scenes brought to life, and hear the dialogues uttered by our favorite actors. But in most cases, the adaptation doesn’t fulfill our expectations, leaving us disappointed, to say the least. Therefore, it’s always essential to read the book before the movie.
In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this common advice and see how Hollywood adapts books to the screen. We’ll also provide tips on how to approach books that are going to be adapted and avoid the pitfalls of adapting books to movies.
Why Reading the Book Is Essential
As stated earlier, most book lovers find themselves frustrated with film adaptations. The main issue is that movies have limited time frames, and therefore they need to alter the plot and cut out some parts of the original story to make it fit. Often, this results in characters’ development inaccuracies or a simplified adaptation that’s not faithful to the source material.
Furthermore, movies are more visual when compared to books, which leaves little to the imagination and often steals readers’ control of the narrative. The details we create in our mind when reading about a novel’s world are lost in the adaptation, creating a sense of emptiness in the film. In addition, some books occasionally contain internal monologues or a stream of consciousness that is hard to translate into film form.
By reading the book first, the readers «create» the characters in their minds, and they can experience them the way they want to. This makes the reader more emotionally attached to the story and its characters, and it allows them to compare the book’s visuals to the filmmakers’ vision, ultimately resulting in a more passionate response to the movie.
How Hollywood Adapts Books To Movies
Hollywood has always been drawn to popular books to adapt since it gives them a pre-existing fan base, making it easier to market the film. However, even though a book has a great story, it’s not always suitable for film adaptation without a few changes. This leads us to the question, how do they adapt books to movies?
First, the filmmakers must identify the target audience and determine the book’s most compelling plot point. Movies are visual mediums, so the movie’s visual aspects become the priority. They may need to change the pacing, shift the time periods, or compress timelines to make the film more cinematic.
Second, casting is essential. A great actor can increase the film’s chances of success, especially if they embody the character and intrigue the audience with their interpretation. It is vital for actors to bring their own personality to the role, for instance, how Robert Downey Jr. made Tony Stark his.
Finally, movies need to make their story compelling without the story’s original narrative tools, like internal monologues. The music, camera angles, and even the film location become the narrative’s signature instead. This can sometimes result in changes the fans may not like, but it’s a necessary risk that the filmmakers must take.
Even with all of these changes to the source material, some adaptations remain faithful. ‘The Lord of The Rings’ was directed by Peter Jackson with such devotion that it was a commercial success and beloved by fans all over the world.
Tips for Approaching Adapted Books and Movies
If you’re considering watching an adaptation, keep the following tips in mind:
– Always read the book first and enjoy the story without any influence from the movie adaptation.
– After reading the book, research the director and actors’ vision for the project to avoid any misconceptions and misinformation.
– Accept that adaptations will have changes, but that doesn’t mean they can’t tell a good story. Try to appreciate both the book and the movie as two different worlds, each with unique elements.
– Avoid judging actors by their appearances alone, and appreciate their portrayal of the character.
– Don’t be afraid to move on and watch different adaptations. Not every adaptation has to be good, but it can be interesting to compare different adaptations of the same story.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, reading the book before watching an adaptation allows you to better appreciate the story, understand the characters more, and provide you with an emotional investment in the story. While Hollywood often makes changes, it’s essential to see the adaptation as a separate entity and enjoy it as such. If approached with an open mind, adaptations can be a fun and exciting addition to your reading experience.
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