Stop complaining that the movie wasn’t as good as the book

Photo illustration by Lauren Kelly

Photo illustration by Lauren Kelly

They’re two different mediums and should be treated as such

By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor


It happens with every book that gets turned into a movie. People compare the two works word-for-word and cry “not true to the novel” when any scenes, characters, or lines aren’t included in the film adaptation. Many people will claim that the movie is not as good as the book because of these absences, but they’re two different forms of story-telling, so it should be obvious that they won’t be the same.

I’ll admit, it’s an easy thing to complain about—even I have done it with one too many Harry Potter movies. Our love and loyalty for the books often get in the way of appreciating the film adaptation. However, we must consider that the way we interpret a book as we read them is never going to be the same as the way other people interpret it. We imagine events and characters from a novel based on our personal experiences and our own biases, so the way a book is understood is going to be different depending on the person.

When someone makes a movie based on a book that doesn’t fit our interpretation of the book, that doesn’t mean that it’s wrong, it’s just different from our understanding—a different perspective.

Of course the movie is not going to be as good as the book. Books and films are two completely different mediums; one forces you to imagine what is going on, what the characters look like, the settings, and so on, while the other is a visual adaptation based on the understanding of whoever created it.

Books also include meticulous details that may make sense to us as we read them, but will not translate well onscreen for obvious reasons. Movies are fast-paced and must get to each important plot point in a timely manner to develop the story for the audience, so a lot of scenes and fluff are going to be cut as a result. If you made a movie that was totally and completely true to the book, it would be a seriously long movie. It took me more than a couple weeks to finish The Half-Blood Prince, so could you imagine how long the movie would be if it included every single scene from the book?

Books and films are two different mediums for storytelling, and they shouldn’t be compared. Movies show what’s happening on the outside, while books show what is happening on the inside. They are the same story told in different ways, and they should be appreciated as two different art forms as well.


The Other Press

The Other Press, Douglas College's student newspaper since 1976. Articles, insight and updates from the New West and Coquitlam campuses.

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