I love to read, but I also love film. In my honest opinion, 90% or so of the time, if the movie was adapted from a book, the book will be better. The book is the written word and not a film that is being made based mostly on pleasing the audience that will come to see it. When you are reading, you see it happening in your head and you can cast anyone as the characters, and create the entire world inside your brain. It’s your version of the movie. To me, that is the best part. I can’t even listen to audiobooks because I get too distracted by life going on around me to concentrate on what is being read to me. However, there are also exceptions to this, occasionally the movie is the same as the book or perhaps even better. Here are a few examples I’d like to mention:
The Harry Potter series: I have read all of the books and seen all of the movies. The first movie ” Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone” was exactly the same plot, same everything as the book. However, the second one and every one after that skipped bits and pieces. One standout example I found disappointing was that they did not show the house elves that work in the kitchen at Hogwarts, when in the book (I can’t at the moment remember which one) Dobby and Kreacher got them all together to help them fight against Voldemort. Dobby even had a house elf girlfriend, but she was not shown in the movie. Maybe they didn’t feel like doing that much extra CGI, but they were left out. Also, the last two of the movies that were made for “Deathly Hallows” had plenty of things in it that weren’t in the actual books. But, to their credit, these movies were done pretty well and needed to be done to bring Harry’s world to life. My favorite moment that they covered was the fight between Voldemort and Dumbledore in the “Order of the Phoenix” movie. Brilliant!
Silver Linings Playbook: I read this book first, before seeing the movie. I am incredibly glad I did. I thought the movie was awful. Mostly because it completely changed the plot from what is written in the book. In the book, Tiffany isn’t really writing to Pat’s ex wife like she says she is and in the end we find out she didn’t even know her at all and she just said she did to get him to train with her. In the movie though, his ex-wife comes to their dance performance at the end and offers to give him another chance and he chooses not to. Whereas, in the book he never sees her again. I appreciate that the film version has to try to be greater than the book to make people interested in watching it, but to me it’s disappointing when they change the plot altogether.
Revolutionary Road: I also read this book before I saw the movie. The book is good, and the movie was better. This is one of those exceptions to my usual opinion. I thought the movie was a nice way to bring the novel to life and enhanced the experience of the story overall. The roles were well cast and it gave you a better view of the story.
Are there any movies you liked better than the book? Or do you agree with me that the book is usually better?
I am currently almost done reading ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ and am about to find out whether or not the movie version is any good. We shall see.