Books VS Their Movies

Let’s change the pace a little bit. For this post I felt like sharing my own thoughts on books and the movies/ television series that are based on them.

The most common debate in this regard is of course, which one is better, the book or the movie. For me personally I have to side with the books. My main reason for this is in the way the story is told and the timing. In books, there is so much more detail put into a moment and we can get an inside look at what a character is thinking while things are happening around them. There’s also the fact that we use our imagination more and things almost always look better in our imaginations than they look in real life.

In movies, however most scenes don’t get the chance to focus on details because they have to get on with the story. There is also the fact that since everything is visually portrayed in the movie, there is nothing left to the imagination, and if you read the book before seeing a movie, sometimes the way you pictured a character or scene is completely different from what you see in the movie and this may leave you disappointed because for you it doesn’t meet the expectations you made for it.

Now I know that movies can’t be exactly like a book; after all there are a lot more constraints like timing, how long a movie can be, how you can’t always make people look like how they are described in a book, how some things in a book just can’t be translated properly into a movie and other real life constraints (darned, real life always pulling me down); and I don’t hold that against movies, they’re doing the best they can with what they are given. But we have to face it, in some ways books just beat movies when it comes to telling a story. It’s a bit like how you prefer the way your grandfather tells a story to the way your aunt does, both have their own unique style and sometimes one tells the story better, but it’s your opinion and tastes that lean towards one rather than the other.

Let me give you some examples. Let’s take the Harry Potter books/movies (Apologies to anyone who hasn’t read the books or seen the movies, you probably won’t have any idea what I’m talking about).

There were a lot of things that were mentioned in the books that were completely changed or never showed up at all in the movies. For example in the first book, the story starts with Vernon Dursley going about his day but meeting some strange people and seeing some strange things. We later find out that these were witches and wizards celebrating the supposed end of Voldemort. But this scene was completely cut out from the movie. Another example is when Harry starts getting his letters from Hogwarts. In the book, the Dursleys try avoiding the letters by going to a hotel/motel but when that doesn’t work they go to a dingy building near the ocean; again the movie cuts out the hotel/motel part and goes directly to the dingy building.

Let’s take one last example; in the fifth book/movie when Snape is teaching Harry occlumency, there’s a moment in the book where Harry dives into the Pensive where Snape is keeping the memories which he doesn’t want Harry to see. In there he sees a memory of his father and his friends at school taking an exam and then bullying Snape. In the book, they go into detail about it and the entire thing plays out at a normal pace; in the movie they rush it, just giving an idea of what happened.

For me, I liked having these kind of details in the story, their absence didn’t ruin the movie for me but it made the books seem better to me than the movies.

Let’s take another example, Goosebumps (again apologies to anyone who hasn’t read or seen these). The books were a series of horror stories for kids, and were popular and they even made a TV series out of them, with each story being told in one or more episodes. In this case, I saw the series before I knew about the books so I had seen quite a few episodes beforehand. The episodes were good, but when I started reading the books, I thought they told the story much better.

Now I know I have been praising books a lot over their movies/ TV series but that doesn’t mean books are always superior. Take the Song of Ice and Fire/Game of thrones story.

Some of the details in the books and the TV series are completely different, there are some things mentioned in the books that don’t show up on the TV series and the books tell the story very differently, but both of them are awesome!

The story telling is great and I keep coming back to both for more. In this case, I kind of view them as completely separate things, kind of like an alternate universe where the basic stuff is the same but with small changes here and there.

I’m sure there are a lot of examples of Movies/TV series that are just as good or even better than the books they are based on, and I look forward to maybe watching/reading them in the futures.

Well that’s the end of the post; I hope you found it entertaining and a good waste of time. Have a nice day.

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