Hello, everyone! As promised, this is my first ever discussion post! *Sets off fireworks and dances around because she doesn’t have a GIF to express these things*
Bringing books to the big screen is nothing new. It’s been happening for decades, but let’s say the act of adapting books to film gained the most attention when Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter were brought to theaters. And then let’s jump a few years forward and say that book to film adaptations gained even more attention following Twilight’s debut into the world of motion pictures.
I’m fairly certain Twilight opened up the floodgates to YA film adaptations but I’m no expert. All I know is that once I saw those TERRIBLE (albeit endearing) films, I wanted to see more of my favorite YA books adapted into film because (1) I wanted to see if they could get any better and (2) I REALLLLLY wanted to see my favorite characters brought to life in a visual medium.
There’s a sort of magic in seeing literary characters and settings transformed from words into pictures. Film allows our favorite stories to become one step closer to reality. It’s one thing imagining and establishing a connection to a book and its characters, but it’s another thing entirely seeing it with our own eyes. Film solidifies our imaginings and gives them a definite shape.
Also, for those of us who enjoy movies, we now have another avenue of entertainment that satisfies both our bookish inclinations and moviegoer tendencies. There’s nothing better than having two different mediums to enjoy the same story. Even if the movie is inaccurate or unfaithful to the book, at least we have another (structurally condensed) interpretation of a beloved narrative.
Because of Hollywood’s recent obsession with YA books, we finally get to see fantastic YA books like The Hunger Games, Divergent, Paper Towns, The Maze Runner, The Fault in Our Stars, Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, and many other beloved books and series on-screen.
But on the other hand, not all book to film adaptations are good. Case in point: Twilight. Off the top of my head, we also have The Host, Eragon, Percy Jackson, Beautiful Creatures, The Vampire Academy, The Mortal Instruments, and so many other films (including some mentioned above) and TV series that don’t quite live up to their fullest potential and, as some would argue, do not do the book justice. This is all subjective of course.
One of the main issues with YA to film/TV adaptations is casting choices. Not all the actors/actresses chosen match the descriptions in the book, which is bothersome to say the least. I’m usually okay with casting choices as long as the character’s personality is portrayed correctly. But if they don’t appear as stated in the book and the actor behaves nothing like the character, then I get all kinds of angry.
There’s also the never-ending issue of a novel’s plot-line being condensed (and completely changed) to fit a film’s run time. I understand practicality, so that doesn’t necessarily bother me. I think I’d lose it if I had to watch a four hour film that included every single scene from the book. But it does bother me when a novel’s plot is morphed into something I don’t recognize at all *coughPercyJacksoncough* and many important scenes or dialogue are omitted.
I don’t really have a definite opinion on the matter. I see book to film adaptations as both a blessing and a curse. I usually try to see most of the YA book/film movies no matter how the trailer looks. Most aren’t that great, but at least quite a few are. I’m looking forward to seeing what else Hollywood has in store for us bookworms.
What are your thoughts on book to movie/tv adaptations? Do you enjoy them or do they often prove disappointing?
Which are some of your favorite book to film/tv adaptations? How do you decide whether a film or TV series does the book justice?
Do you go see a book to film adaptation whenever it comes out or do you usually avoid them?