Thursday, April 17, 2014

Movie Adaptations

Today I'm going to play a slight devil's advocate role. Just slightly.

There's a lot of conversations popping up these days that have to do with movie adaptations of popular books. The Hunger Games has been breaking the box offices, Divergent was at least popular, The Fault in Our Stars is on its way and recently there have been announcements about Eleanor & Park and even If I Stay being turned into movies.

What I'm trying to say is: a lot of the current films hitting theaters are book adaptations. Or at least adaptations of some sort. Looking at the movies currently showing at my own local movie theater, four out of eight of the films are adaptations of previously known tales that I can name off the top of my head:

-Captain America 2: comic book
-Noah: Bible
-Divergent: book
-The Muppets: classic kid's characters

Okay. To be absolutely fair, Divergent's the only real (and I use that term loosely) novel-turned-movie up in that list. But a common complaint that I've heard just around my own campus is:

Where's the originality?

And then let's not forget the most common complaints after seeing the movie:

The book was way better. I can't believe they cut out [insert scene here]. That actress was horrible. I pictured [insert character name here] SO differently.

Get the drift?

And here's where my own Devil's Advocate role comes in:

Books and movies are two highly different forms of media entertainment. You can't do the same things with a movie as you can with a book.

But that's off the topic (and was just my own little rant that I've been dying to get out).

I mean, judge the movie based off movie elements. Not off the book. That being said, there have been some truly heinous book-to-movie adaptations out there (*cough* Eragon *cough*). And that's because the movie, itself, was done horribly. Like, I could have watched the movie first and agreed that it was butchered.

Back to the topic of originality. This is truly up for discussion because, as I've pointed out, many movies being released in recent times have been adaptations of some sort, usually from a book. And I've noticed a lot of interesting reactions to that because many people wonder if, now, it's just another way for the authors to make money and for producers/screenplay writers to be lazy.



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