Book vs Movie

There are great book to movie adaptations out there, but they are rare gems, and they’re usually the ones that are the most accurate to the book’s story. Photo provided by

There are great book to movie adaptations out there, but they are rare gems, and they’re usually the ones that are the most accurate to the book’s story. Photo provided by

Lianys Olmeda, Staff Writer

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It is a common practice in the film industry to adapt books into movies. Unfortunately, more often than not, the movies don’t do the books justice. Most of the time one cannot enjoy both the book and the movie, and almost always the former is infinitely better than the latter. This has a lot to do with the level of accuracy to the book that the movie has. Usually the movies that stay closer to the book are better overall. However, people in the film industry feel it’s necessary to spoil perfectly good stories by changing things from the book. Obviously, it’s unrealistic to have every single aspect of a book represented on the big screen because of complications such as time. Nevertheless, it is possible to create a film that does do the book justice without sticking perfectly to every line of the book but is as close as possible. This often results in a much better, much more successful adaptation.

Almost always the book is better than the movie. Directors often feel the need to change perfectly good books that would have made great movies on their own. An example of one such epic failure of a book to movie adaptation is Chris Columbus’ adaptation of Rick Riordan’s book Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. I like to pretend that these movies never existed. The movies are nothing like the book. It feels as if the director chose to just make a completely new, standalone movie. Characters are changed to make it more stereotypically appealing to audiences. For example, Grover is portrayed as the comic relief who is extremely extroverted, yet in the book he is the opposite of that; he’s soft-spoken and kind. The changes that were made in this movie did nothing to serve the actual story. However, since there were many fans of the books that went to see this movie in theatres with the hope of a good adaptation and the movie was targeted for all audiences, the movie made $226.4 million in the box office. However, it received a devastating 49% on Rotten Tomatoes and had an IMDb rating of only 5.9/10. Unfortunately, there are many other such films that have desecrated perfectly good books simply to make money off of the popularity of the books they are adapting or by simplifying the story too much.

On the other hand, there are successful book to movie adaptations that do the story justice. Though there are some variations to the story, there are movies that are still able to capture the essence of the book and stick as close to it as possible. One such adaptation is Tate Taylor’s adaptation of The Help by Kathryn Stockett. The movie condenses the book and thus leaves some things out, but it still does the story justice by portraying the characters as they are portrayed in the book and staying close to the story. This results in a poignant film that is both beautiful and emotional, like the book. As a consequence, the movie received a lot of praise, even being nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture. Though the movie wasn’t as commercially successful as Percy Jackson, the movie still made $216.6 million at the box office, and the reviews for the movie were infinitely better. The movie received 75% on the Tomatometer, thus giving the movie a fresh tomato rather than the rotten one that the other movie received, and an 8.1/10 review on IMDb. Overall, the book is almost always better than the movie though, and the closer a movie sticks to it, the better it does.

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