Monday, August 23, 2010

Books vs. Movies

     With the approach of the second to last Harry Potter movie coming out in November, I’m trying not to get my hopes up. It always seems that movies that are based on books are never as good as the book. I’m inclined to think that it’s because we expect too much. But in reality, the movie is just a movie and is not, the book it was based on. When a book is made into a movie, the story has to be changed so that it fits the movie form and not the book form it was originally fitted to.
     Take the movie Jaws, for example, which was based on a book by the same title written by Peter Benchley. At the end of the book, Chief Brody kills the shark with a harpoon but in the movie, this ending is replaced with a thematic explosion that ends with the shark being blown to pieces. The audiences for books and movies are completely different so in order to please them both, the stories should be different as well. In the book, Jaws, the author allowed the shark to float dramatically to the bottom of the ocean when it is killed with a harpoon instead of being blown up like it is in the movie and this ending is appropriate and artistic. While in the movie, the ending is dramatic and appropriate for the audience. Sometimes aspects of a story are changed when it is made into a movie to better suit the audience.
     There are a few movies that I can think of that actually portray the story even better than the book, the two examples of this is Up In The Air and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. But I think, in most cases, that the books are much, much, much better than the movies. In fact, there are so many, I wouldn’t know where to begin. But it’s important not to put too many expectations on a movie. I’ve found that usually when you really, really, really enjoy a book, you will absolutely hate the movie. So only if you truly hate the book, will you possibly like the movie.
    I believe that books allow more room for art and creativity than movies do. There have been so many books that have changed the way I think, given me new ideas, and in some instances, they have changed my entire world around—I can’t exactly say the same about movies.
     Are there any movies that you think are better than the books they were based on? If so, which ones?