Remake or Heartbreak?

By Jessica Sears

It has all happened to us at some point or another- our favorite novel is turned into a movie that is completely gag-worthy.  Our hopes in cinema are crushed and that beloved book has been ruined by atrocious acting and scenery that is the polar-opposite of our expectations.  Yet, there are instances where the motion picture world does do the greatest of books justice.

How, may you ask, is this achieved?  It just takes one simple word – details.  Vital pieces of information left out of these movies may have the power to change a motion picture entirely.  Junior Sydney Welch knows all too well about the atrocity of leaving out key facts in a movie based solely on a novel.

“The movie for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince really disappointed me because they left out key, important information,” Welch said. “I just loved the book, and it let down my expectations.  If a movie is based on a book, then it should be like the book.  If a book is good, then the movie should be better, unlike Twilight which was terrible because Kristen Stewart can’t act.”

English teacher Mrs. Alison Koopman feels like sometimes content is left out in the movies to make a film more “G-rated”.  This was the case with the movie version of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.   Although the vital details and information were included in the movie, many things were taken out to give it a PG-13 rating.

Hiring the best actors and actresses to portray the famous characters from popular books is another big obstacle that directors have to tackle.

“I think when you read you sort of imagine what the characters will look like, and sometimes it doesn’t match up with your expectations,” Koopman said.  “That’s why I liked The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo so much because the lead actress matched up exactly with how I pictured the main character.”

Of course no two people have the same imagination of the characters and scenery from a book.  Readers have to put their trust in the casting directors to make their best executive decisions over whom to hire.

For junior Jordan Wingard, watching movies helps her to understand a book after she’s read it.

“The movies help give me a visual idea of what the author wanted.  I feel somewhat disappointed when the movies are different than the books,” Wingard said.

Wingard claims that she prefers to read a book and then watch the movie.  By reading the book first, she is able to really get an understanding of the emotions a character is feeling.  Whereas by watching the movie, viewers don’t have the privilege of being able to really get into the depth of each of the characters.

Welch prefers to do the opposite.  That is, she prefers to watch a movie first and then read the book.  By doing this, she is able to be surprised when she watches the movie.  Then, when she goes to read the book, she can figure out what the director left out of the film.

“If I read the book first and then watch the movie, I get mad at what the director did,” Welch said.

What book do you want to be converted to a movie?

Join in the conversation and tell us what you think by commenting below.

1 Comment

  1. I agree that reading the book first will likely mean I’ll be disappointed by the movie. Many times, important details are filmed, then cut out of the movie to make it shorter. It’s difficult to successfully tell the story of a book in a movie, due to time constraints.

    I would like to see more John Grisham books made into movies….the others were fairly well done.

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