July 28, 2014

Bookish Diary ~ Why Books Seem Better Than The Movies (In My Opinion)

Who is not excited when one’s favorite book will be shown on the big screen? It’s like seeing the pages come to reality, with faces to be associated with the faceless fictional characters and seeing the imaginary world right before one’s eyes.

These days many books, mostly from the Young-Adult genre, have been turning into movies. If a book is a best-seller, it is optioned for a film. Sometimes, the movie rights are sold even before the book become published. If the film developed and made it to the big screen, the audience will get bigger. It used to be, “Let’s watch the movie and see if it is as good as the book.” Now, it seems to be, “Let’s buy the book so we can compare it with the movie and see which is better.”
Making it to the big screen is a big deal for a book, because it gathers a larger audience with curious minds. Some books make it to the best-selling lists because of the movie, and some becomes a movie because it is a best-seller.

Now, when a book finally made it to the big screen and enthusiastic readers went to see it, most times they go out of the theater complaining, “The book was so much better! They didn’t even get it right!” followed by a long list of things they were disappointed about. The hero was supposed to be doing this, the heroine was supposed to be doing that, the place was all wrong, and all that.
Some has been wondering why the screenwriters can’t seem to get it right, and some wonders why there is almost no movie better than, or even just as good as, the book was. Some things just have to be considered when doing a film.

Usually a film has a standard length of ninety (90) to one-twenty (120) minutes. One cannot fit all the happenings of the book in that short time. Remember, a book is only dealing with words so it has to be descriptive and full of creative words of dialogues and monologues to keep the imagination going. Screenwriters have to cut a big chunk of scenes to fit the storyline in the limited time of the movie. They do the best they could to deliver a similar quality a book has.

Basically, though, it all just comes down to one’s imagination. The human mind is an amazing thing. It is infinite. The book seems always better than movie because nothing can beat the beauty of one’s imagination. When one wills it, the brain can come up with the best things—the perfect setting, the perfect characters, the perfect delivery.

It is doubtless that one’s disappointments are the product of expectations. Since the mind has come up with the perfect thing, one will obviously get disappointed if something does not measure up to it. Personal biases also come in play. When one does not like the actor/actress that will play the fictional character, there is an almost instant conviction that the actor/actress won’t be able to pull it off.

When you ask someone who has read the book beforehand about the movie adaptation, the answer will almost automatically be “No, I wasn’t satisfied with it” or something of the like. But when you ask someone who hasn’t read the book the same question, most answers are, “It was okay. I think it was amazing” and when they have finally read the book, the tendency is their answer will change to, “You were right, the book is better than the movie” followed by a list of the scenes that were not included in the film and all that.

It always depends on the question, but in this case, nothing will beat one’s imagination. Hence the book is always better than the movie.

~ Zee


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