Should good books be adapted for the big screen?

 

Should good books be adapted for the big screen?

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Published: Thu 11 Jan 2018, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Fri 19 Jan 2018, 8:31 AM

The movie 'ruined' the book. How many times have we heard these words uttered by nearly every book lover and avid reader after coming out of a movie theatre? I probably would have said it a couple of times myself! But, let's be honest here, there are a lot of book-to-movie adaptations that are just outstanding and have got people admitting that the movie was much better than the book. Not that it's a competition, mind you!
It isn't really a question of "ruining" the book. There is just the simple fact that the movie and book are now accessible because of their reliance on each other. And no matter how big your imagination is, there will always be aspects of the book that your mind just cannot capture. Take Hogwarts, from the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowlings, for example. Were you really able to envision it as it was in the movies? I know I wasn't able to. Watching how the scene unravelled on screen for the first time just left me in awe. I would be lying if I said I didn't have goosebumps. What about The Da Vinci Code? The Hunger Games? How adorable were Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort in The Fault in our Stars? I'm really just naming a few from the top of my head that I think were good adaptations.
I do make it a rule though, to always read the book before watching the movie, as I love to compare how my mind visualised the details of the characters and the scenery with how the screenwriters depicted all the information gathered from the book. It's just one of the perks of reading.
But reading aside, watching the movie adaptation is an experience on its own. It's a good opportunity to share this experience with different people throughout the years.
So, I'm all for adaptations! I'm a big fan of reading the book and watching its movie. I make it a habit to check out what books are coming to the big screen every year to make sure I am able to read it just in time!
(Nada Gaweish is the book blogger behind www.africaanahbookblog.com. You can keep up with her on Instagram and Facebook @africaanah and on Twitter @Doya_G)

(left to right) Nada Gaweish and Samama Reza
As an avid reader, it's definitely a nightmare for me to see my favourite books turned into movies.
A book takes us away from reality, into a world where things look so much better, or so much worse. depending on the plot. But the point is that books takes us places we'll never go in real life. And when we compare those amazing pieces of literary work to their movies, it completely ruins the book and confuses readers.
As an example, the Harry Potter book series were, according to me, one of the best fantasy novels ever written. It was so good it made me wish I studied in Hogwarts! The Harry Potter movies weren't the worst, but they couldn't bring out the actual colours that filled my heart and soul when I read the books. The characters felt kind of anonymous and the movies seemed kind of boring.
A Series of Unfortunate Events was a long, sad and somewhat quirky series of novels that I loved reading. But I did not like the movie at all. The only character who portrayed himself perfectly was Count Olaf (played by Jim Carrey). The other characters were not chosen correctly, therefore making the movie lose the main point of the story.
And when talking about good books being turned into nightmarish movies, how can I not mention the Twilight saga? While Edward Cullen was my first fictional crush, he was poorly portrayed in the movies. He had lost all his charms and intelligence and I barely understood what the characters "whispered" about in the last five movies. It was an extreme disappointment.
Although most movie adaptations of books don't do that well, according to me, there are a few that are better than the book - like The Fault in our Stars.
My conclusion is that good books should never be adapted for the big screen, no matter how intriguing the story might be. Let the beautiful world of each story stay in our minds the way we designed it.
(Samama Reza is the book blogger behind www.samamareads.com. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram @samama.reads and on Twitter @samamareads)



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