Book or Movie? by Syndi Powell
We can all name favorite books that were made into horrible movies. We can also list books that were made into better films. I'm the type of person who finds out that a certain book is being made into a movie and will go out and read it first. I like to enjoy the story in my mind before I see it on the screen. I have a friend who will read the book after she seems the movie because it helps her to keep better track of the story.
It seems like movies made from books leave out quite a bit of the plot and characterization. After all, if they were to film everything exactly it was written then the movie would last half the day rather than a couple of hours. But then part of me asks, would that be such a bad thing? Sometimes I wouldn't mind seeing it all play out on the screen.
I like the richness that reading brings to a story. You can get into more detail about the setting and the people who live in it. However, because a film tends to give things in shorthand, themes can be understood more clearly. If you read a book like "Gone with the Wind", you could get mired down in details about Tara and its place in the county. But if you watch the movie, we can see the bigger picture. We don't need to know all the history of the place to understand that the way of life it is used to is becoming obsolete.
One of my favorite adaptations from book to screen is the Canadian miniseries of "Anne of Green Gables". I actually watched the program before I read the book, and it inspired me to read the entire series. The director tried to stay faithful to the original work, and for the most part he succeeded. However, one of my least favorite adaptations is "Anne of Avonlea" which is amalgamated from several of the books and leaves out big sections of Anne Shirley's life. I felt cheated when I watched the program since I'd read the entire series by that time. I wanted the Anne Shirley Blythe of the books.
What do you prefer? Reading the book first or seeing the movie? Which books have made great movies or bad flicks? Also, what books would you love to see made into a movie?