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Books To Movies

Will They Ever Be As Good?

Have you ever read a book and then watched the movie about the book? Did you think the movie was not as good? Well, cut it some slack people! Over the years, many popular books have been created into movies or television shows. Now, while some movies do an amazing job of getting everything from the book onto the screen, others aren’t as good. But people need to realize that it is not going to be an exact replica. 

First, there is the budget! It takes a lot of money to make a movie, and depending on the details of the book, they’re simply just not going to have enough money to include every scene and sentence into the movie. Especially if it is a fantasy movie in a completely different world, which would have a lot of special effects. It is one thing to make characters, setting, and a storyline into a book but quite another to make a movie. If the producers are going to spend millions of dollars on the movie, then shouldn’t they just use it to make it right? Well, depending on the circumstances, I would normally agree with this. However, sometimes they just don’t want to spend more money than is necessary. This is understandable since most people want to make a movie as efficiently as they can. They want the best result with as little expense as possible. 

Second, there is the length! Would you rather watch an exact replica of the book as a 4 hour movie or a condensed, 2 hour long version? Personally, I would want to watch something that keeps the storyline moving and doesn’t have a ton of conversation scenes. There is just not enough time to say every single word that is said in the book.  Depending on the length of the book, it would be nearly impossible. Another thing is that in a decent amount of books, you get to be inside the character’s head. Now, in movies it is a little uncommon to have the character’s internal voice shout out what they’re thinking. Most movies are from a regular point of view, just showing the characters and their actions. This may make it seem like it’s different from the book, but really it’s just a different point of view. 

What if people haven’t read the book? A lot of people say you should definitely read the book before you watch the movie. But do you need to? If you were to just watch the movie without knowing about the book, would you still feel the same way about the movie? If you read the book after watching the movie would you still think the movie wasn’t as good as the book? All good questions! 

What about classic books? Ok, so for classic books I will say that the rules are a little different. If it’s a classic book that literally everyone knows and reads in school, then the movie should be better. With so much popularity, the movie needs to live up to the legend and follow the storyline pretty closely. The author is generally well-known, and the movie needs to be able to make the book proud, especially if the author has passed away. If people decide to make a movie off of a book where the author can’t have a say, then they need to make it pretty exact. Since the author won’t be able to fight back on behalf of the book, the movie needs to live up to the book. 

Books v.s. Movies – Kings' Courier

Now, what if they change the characters or the storyline? In my opinion, it is okay if they stray from the book a little bit, but there are limits to how far they can go. Generally, there are a lot of movies that take characters out of the book, but can you blame them? Depending on the importance of the characters, it may not be worth it for studios to hire the extra actors and create the extra scenes. If however, the character is of importance and they have a decent effect on the storyline, they should be represented in the movie.

One thing that is always concerning when making a movie out of something that a lot of people love is how the fans will react. Many people who have read a book and really loved it can be harsh critics of the movie.  Many fans will get really upset if you change one single thing about the book. Their reviews and comments can really hurt the movie and the amount of money that gets made. So, producers must tread carefully when making a movie based on the book, because if the fans don’t like it, it can really hurt their reputation. 

Finally, we have to understand that most of the time the author has already approved all of this. Most of the time, the author will work with the directors to help make the film. They will be able to say what they want to be cut out or changed for the good of the movie. If the author who literally wrote the book agrees with the movie, then surely you, as the audience, can back them up and support their decision. A question raised though is, does the author want the movie to be an exact replica of the book? Do they want to have something people can watch if they don’t want to read? Is their goal just to get their story out there, or are they trying to raise awareness for their book? What makes them more money? Generally, authors can make a lot of extra money from making a film adaptation of their book. From movie rights to increased publicity of their work, it can be a great investment. However, it can also hurt them, so it’s always a risk. 

I don’t really have a set opinion on this because it really does depend on the circumstances. Generally, if they don’t change too many things about the book, I’m ok with it. If they change too many things and are adding in things that weren’t even in the book, then I have a problem. I just hope that people will at least be a little more open to the movies and realize how much work gets put into them. Even though it probably won’t be exactly the same as the book, movies can still be really good and do a good job of representing the book. 

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About the Contributor
Jillian Tieskotter
Jillian Tieskotter is a junior at Fillmore Central High School. She has one older sister and one younger brother. She enjoys reading, watching movies, and listening to music. She lives on a farm and spends a lot of time outdoors. She loves to spend time with her family and friends. 
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