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Don’t judge a book by its movie

At least no one desecrated The Lord of the Rings with an awful rendition. /image: imp awards.com
At least no one desecrated The Lord of the Rings with an awful rendition. /image: imp awards.com

…and vice versa

Article: Rosa Laverdiere – Contributor

Many of the new Hollywood blockbusters based on books need to be looked at more closely. These movies tend to be based on a book and are not an adapted version of the book.

However, there are movies that have been made with the intention of being an adaptation of the book, but have failed to accomplish this. As a result, the novels can be viewed as unpleasant.

So why do most of these movies fail in comparison to the book? This question has a simple answer. When we read, we get to use our imagination; we create a film within our heads, and books give us more knowledge of the story than can be adapted into a two-hour movie.

Directors tend to be a main, but not the only, reason behind novels turning into awful movies. Some directors go the distance and make a good movie for the fans of the book series, like The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit series.

Some movies are brilliant adaptations of the novel that they are based on. Perks of Being a Wallflower is one such movie as the screenplay writer, the director, and the author is the same person, Stephen Chbosky. In this case the film is rather close to the story. However, there is a side story for Candace, the main character’s sister, which was partially filmed but not included due to time constraints. Also, it did not make sense within the film.

Hollywood seems to be running out of original ideas, given the amount of movies based on novels, remakes, and comics. Warm Bodies was released within the past year and was a huge success, both as a novel and a film. The manuscript for the novel was optioned as a film before the novel was released in 2010. After reading the novel, one can see there are differences between it and the film. In the novel, the humans live in a stadium whereas the film depicts them living near one. Warm Bodies also has a bit of a side story within the novel creating more of a zombie world. He becomes “married” to another zombie and has “children” as well.

When Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief was released, there was disappointment by those who had read Rick Riordan’s novel. The movie was nothing like it. Annabeth, the main female character, was not blonde as the book described but instead a brunette. In general, the story was different. Some people thought that this could not be fixed, however the sequel fixes most of the errors that they made in the first film by staying close to the second novel’s plot.

Disney also has turned novels into movies, such as Avalon High. The novel by Meg Cabot is the same story but with characters in different roles. Will is the reincarnation of Arthur where in the movie he is not.

The Princess Diaries is also based on a book series by Cabot. The best part about this novel series is that Cabot makes fun of the fact that the movies are different than the books. Within the novel we find out that her father is not dead, like the movie portrays him. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to films being based on novels.

There are some authors that have novels that would be brilliant movies, if made by the right screenwriter and directors.

Lurlene McDaniel is one who has seventy novels that could be made and would be similar to Nickolas Sparks’ films. Specifically there is a novel titled How Do I Love Thee which includes a story about a girl with xeroderma pigmentosum, a genetic disorder where the body can’t heal damage cause by ultraviolet rays properly. These films, if done adequately, could be better than Sparks’s.

The Pendragon series by D. J. MacHale is another that could be brilliant as a film, however it would probably be better suited for a TV series.

The Nine Lives of Chloe King by Liz Braswell has a beautifully written screenplay, available online to read, however this will probably not be made into a film anytime soon.

In short, no one is perfect, especially those in the film industry, but it could always be worse.

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