It’s been a kind of a trend, for a few years now : young adult books are being, frequently, adapted into movies on the big screen, or into tv shows. I could quote so many, I just don’t know where to start.
Book adaptations are, for me, both a great and a bad thing. First of all, there’s something no one can deny: bringing a book to the big screen, makes it reach a larger audience, an audience that, sometimes, books on their own can’t touch. I don’t like to say this, but lots of people will be more tempted to see a movie, than to read a book. Sometimes, a story that wouldn’t be well-known on the paper, can reach a great success by being adapted on screen. This is pretty awesome, I have to admit it: great books can finally get the success they deserve, this way. Book sales increases, and, suddenly, everyone is talking about this book. This movie. Well, this story, anyway. And that’s what the author wants, the publisher wants, the readers loving this story, want.
Once a movie is on its way, everything changes.
I believe that, sometimes, a story is better off between the pages of a book. That may be a selfish thing to admit, but it’s the truth. A movie adaptation comes at many costs, and it can be disappointing. I’m a firm believed that the story belongs to its readers. When a book is turned into a movie, I see that saying being shattered a bit. Let me explain: when you read a book, characters are coming to life, in your mind. They’re shaping themselves in your imagination, and the story unfolds before your eyes, figuratively. In your mind. Once a movie is on the way, everything changes. The face you imagined for a character, isn’t exactly (if you’re lucky), or at all (that’s more unlucky) as you expected it to be. The surroundings change, well, basically everything, can’t always be as you thought it would be. A movie changes the perception of a book. Sometimes, I find it disappointing too, because it doesn’t unfold the way it should. Some parts change, due to a movie budget, or other obligations I don’t really know that well. I could talk about The Golden Compass movie, for instance. This book is my favorite of all times, when I was younger, and it still is. When I saw the movie, it was a huge disappointment. Some of the characters didn’t meet my expectations, but that wasn’t the worst. I thought that the whole movie was missing so many key points of the story. I would have prefered this book, to just, stay a book.
A movie has to stay true to the story told by the book.
I don’t find every book adaptation, that bad, though. The most important thing is: the movie has to stay true to the story the author wanted to share. I find that that’s the case in The Fault in Our Stars, for instance. To be honest, when I heard about this book being turned into a movie (and it’s the same for all the other John Green novels), I wanted to cry. I thought they would simply wreck it. I wanted to keep John Green to myself, as selfish as that is. I didn’t really enjoy the cast, especially Shailene Woodley as Hazel. I was pleasantly surprised by seeing the movie. I will always love the book, more, but this movie stayed true to the story. It respected the scenes sometimes to perfection, and even the dialogues. But this is not why I liked it so much. I found it really good, because the characters, the scenes, the whole unfolding of the story, during the movie, respected to perfection the book, and what the book meant to say.
A good book adaptation doesn’t have to respect every scene, every dialogue. I think that it has to respect what the book meant to say. It should follow the plot, obviously, otherwise it’s not an adaptation to me. The actors should stay true to the characters of the book, even if they’re not exactly their twin, physically, as long as they’re the same mentally. I could quote Spencer’s character in the tv show Pretty Little Liars. Troian Belissario doesn’t look like, at all, how Spencer is supposed to be, physically. But she is her, in the way she play this character. A movie, a character, doesn’t need to respect everything to the point. It just needs to be true. If there’s that, then, it’s a success.
Share your thoughts with me ! What do you think of books being adapted into movies? Are you against it/for it? Do you see the movie and the book as separate entities? What makes you love / hate a book adaptation?
What’s your favorite book adaptation? What is the next adaptation you’re looking forward to?
One last question : would you guys be interested in a regular chronicle called, from the pages, to the screen? I would be talking about a book, and its movie. Let me know your thoughts in comments! 🙂