How to overcome the idea that the movie is not what the book was!

So I have guilty pleasures, and some are related to a couple of YA books out there. You see I’m a slow reader, but with the Divergent series, I broke my reading time records (like just a couple of days for each one). I’m not going to talk about if the book is good, if the writing is good, etc. Nope, this post is not about that. It’s just how much readers get their hopes in when they have a visual representation, a movie, of their favorite stories.

Why do we care?

Because when we read a story, we imagine the characters, the settings, and the whole story in our heads. So when we hear that a movie will be “based” on it, we get excited hoping to find that everything we pictured in our heads as we read the book will be consciously represented on the screen.

movies are not like books

Why is not always like that?

Because we can’t fit all the details in less than 2 hours. And because, movies are different from books. Most movies are there for entertaining purposes or for stimulating our visual senses. We can’t get ten pages of character’s emotional inner struggle in a movie.  If you take movies like me, that they exist for entertainment purposes and not for lulling you into sleep, then you get this point.

Should we demand movie producers respect the book storyline?

No, it’s only “based on”. Film studios have no obligation to remain loyal to the author’s story. And they have their own scriptwriters who know what works best in a movie and what doesn’t.

movies are like not books

And what about Insurgent? (the second installment of the Divergent series, in case you’re not familiar with it)

It’s a freaking good movie. If you didn’t read the book, the better for you; you’ll be able to assess the movie entirely from its entertaining potential. If you read it, stop comparing it to the book. The book was a story written by Veronica Roth, and it ends up there, in the papers of the book and if the picture you made up in your mind. The movie is another thing.

Was I aware of this perspective when I went to see the movie?

Of course not! I was the person who in Divergent nagged my companion all the time telling her: “in the book it was not like that… in the book…. ” Oh, poor her….

In the second one, I had the same inner struggle, but this time I kept it to myself, or my friend would have killed me. But this time when the movie ended, and I forced myself to forget the book, I found out that the movie was actually very well developed and very well told. Very entertaining.  I even found myself wishing some scenes would have been added to the book (don’t tell Veronica Roth 🙂 )

It’s one thing to love books and to love the stories and wish we could see the exact visual representations on the big screen, but let’s face it, it’s not going to happen. The magic of books will always remain on their pages and the skills we use to dive into the story. The power we have to imagine those words. That’s the beauty of books. We don’t need to have forced flat representations on screen. Movies are a different type of art, a visual art. Let’s stop trying to match them and keep the books and their wonderful stories to us.

And you, do you ever find yourself wishing the movie was exactly the same as the book? Do you easily get disappointed when you find that it’s not what you imagined from the book? Other movies/books that you can think of where you found this difference or rather a quite accurate resemblance between the two? 

Movie review – The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

I’m one of those persons that always thought “The Lord of the Rings” films were destined to be the best film-series ever. I still remember my attendance to the movie theater would be repeated several times with the objective to absorb as much as possible from this fantastic trilogy. I couldn’t get enough of it, all the Epic Fantasy in the story was so appealing that I guess many people got as obsessed with it as me. Then the Hobbit came.

I was expecting the first movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to be memorable, and the whole J.R.R. Tolkien fan base would resuscitate, Peter Jackson (the director) would be again the ultimate God, and that saving money for visiting New Zealand – the land that had seen the filming – was imperative again. But the first Hobbit move was just meeh… I don´t have other proper word. So much expectation but something was not working well with this first delivery of the Hobbit.


Image source: official propiety of New Line Cinema and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures

The biggest fan I know of The Lord of the Rings, must be my mother, and she felt asleep during the first Hobbit, she was, of course, disappointed. Then, a year later came The Desolation of Smug. Now we were talking again of something that was worthy of Peter Jackson and the legacy of J.R.R.Tolkien. The movie was indeed much better than the first one (Maybe it was because we got to see Legolas, our favorite Elf, or something else, but it felt better).

Then last week, came The Battle of the Five Armies, and I was blown away. This was certainly a worthy heir of the Lord of the Rings (even though, the story is a predecessor of the others). First of all, my mother didn’t fall asleep (a good parameter of what movies work and which ones don’t). Then, there were those special moments that reminded me a lot of the Lord of the Rings, those where you felt your heart leap, butterflies in your belly, your mouth hanging open, wide smiles, extraordinary connection to the characters (which includes loud screams from my person when they are in danger), suffering, excitement, relief, everything. That’s what the Lord of the Rings was all about and we got to feel it again in this third delivery of the Hobbit. Peter Jackson, you nailed it again.


Image source: official propiety of New Line Cinema and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures

If you were one of those who got disappointed by the first Hobbit movie, then gave up on the second one, and even didn’t realize about this third one. Go to see it, trust me, you’ll live the magic again.

And you, are you a fan of the Lord of the Rings, did you see any of the Hobbit movies?