Before launching into my long list of book/movie comparisons, I think it is important for me to share my thoughts on the subject first. It dawned on me today that good books being turned into bad movies, as a topic, does not deal with the central issue! The central issue being that good literature isn’t handled with the careful thought and consideration that its readers deserve!
Take for instance a book that you love,- ANY book that you love. You cherish every single page; you have a whole mental world devoted to the characters and the story unraveling before you. In other words: you and your favourite book have a very intimate bond- a connection that transcends the words being read.
Along comes a movie (and I say ‘a’ because ‘the’ would imply that the book and the movie aren’t two very separate and unique entities). You, innocently or not so innocently, watch said movie. Bam! You find your whole mental world self-imploding as it becomes bombarded with the movie’s version of the book (most often a very tacky and completely different version to the one going on inside your head). It’s very complicated you see. I think that you can’t even associate some books with “their” movie; it would be unfair to the reader to do so. Why the reader and not the author? Personally, I think the author is as much responsible for their book’s movie as the director- unless the author is dead and therefore has no say!
How can some authors allow their book to be portrayed by people who oftentimes haven’t even read the book, don’t care about it, and lack the ability to ACT? This key quality isn’t always available in Hollywood- and these are the people that we are trusting with our most cherished piece of literature?! If we can’t even trust the author to look after their work then how do we trust anyone?
Unfortunately for any lover of books, we gamble every time we read a book. We know that if the book is good it has a 50/50 chance of being made into a movie. If it is made into a movie then it could be your very own literary dream that is finally realised OR it could be that your favourite book is massacred over and over again with every cinematic showing of the movie :(. The compulsion to watch a book that has been turned into a movie is of course strong within all of us- perhaps those of us who are knowledgeable are even worse than those who watch these movies being completely ignorant of the books existence. They don’t have anything to lose! We willingly hand over our imagination’s integrity by making it adapt to the Hollywood version of our books. Mind movie or Hollywood movie?
Spiderman said that ‘with great power comes great responsibility’.. .well the same applies to books! You wouldn’t go to the Louvre and draw on Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa!
Enough ranting for the day- teehee- happy reading everyone 😛