Friday, November 23, 2012

Never Judge a Book by its Movie

I know this is a very subjective topic and feel free to disagree with me. To my mind the book is always better than the movie adaptation of it. A lot of details are lost between the page and the screen. A book works jointly with the mind in building an imaginary world. As for a movie, it does all the work for you – our personal reading becomes attached to another person's (screenwtiters', film director's, costume designers', etc.) vision and imagination.

So I asked my friends and colleques about their "good book, bad movie" experience and created a list of 7 bad and flat movies based on very good, powerful and adventurous books:

Good book/graphic novel Bad movie
Bag of Bones 
by Stephen King (M)
The Golden Compass
by Philip Pullman (M)
Gulliver's Travels
by Jonathan Swift (M)
A Princess of Mars. Mars Trilogy 
 by Edgar Rice Burroughs (M)
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
by Alan Moore (M)
Never Let Me Go 
by Kazuo Ishiguro (M)
The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger (M)

However, I have to admit that great films can benefit the reading process. For example, Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings movie helped me get a clear understanding of the plot of the J.R.R.Tolkien’s complex fantasy work. I had no problem reading the book and imagining vivid characters as Jackson represented them. 

By the way, the HBO's medieval fantasy television series Game of Thrones encouraged me to read the book A Game of Thrones (the first book in the Songs of Ice and Fire series) by George R.R. Martin. What an amazing epic novel! And so I return to my initial statement: the book is always, always better than the movie.

1 comment:

  1. Opinions on John Carter appear to be somewhat mixed: some (most?) people seem to think that it is terrible, but some (including fans of the books) think that it is great. And I know a number of people who loved the Never Let Me Go film.

    While I generally do think that the book is better than the film, I do think that The Notebook and The Princess Bride were both better films than books (though I did enjoy the books, as well).