Books vs. Films
I saw The Hunger Games this weekend like most of you, and thought it was a great adaptation of the book. I heard some mixed reviews following the film however, and thought that as an aspiring author and avid reader, my opinion on books vs. films might match some of yours.
Novels, films, art, poetry - are all mediums through which we as humans convey our own messages and tell our own stories. I constantly hear the sentence, "The movie wasn't nearly as good as the book," which bothers me, since you can't really compare one medium to another. Just because you prefer reading to watching, does not mean one was necessarily better than the other, just better to you. Realistically, a film could never contain the same descriptions and anecdotes and language contained in a book. Because books are my preferred form of medium, I understand why people say, "The movie wasn't nearly as good as the book," but only because to me, I did not feel the same things in the film that I felt in the book. Although the reverse could be true also. "I did not feel the same things in the book that I felt in the film."
I once heard Gail Carson Levine speak at a lecture. She spoke passionately about writing, her characters and their stories before opening up the lecture up for questions. Someone asked her quite rudely, "Were you embarrassed by the film adaptation of Ella Enchanted?" She paused for a moment and replied something to the extent of, "Of course not. The film is so different than the book that it is hard to compare them." Levine understood mediums.
I have also heard the argument that a truly great author would never let their books become films. My response to that, is that an author is primarily a storyteller. Is not a screenwriter also a storyteller? By choosing just one medium, the story and audience is limited. Of course the film is different from the book - but that is okay. I usually test various mediums by how they make me feel, and I felt something spark inside me both when I read The Hunger Games and when I watched the film.
I cried real tears when Katniss volunteered herself in Prim's place. Kevin told me it was because I have sisters I love that much and he is probably right. I couldn't breathe the whole movie because of anticipation and for 2 solid hours forgot about my current stresses.
Say what you will about the movie, but something that makes you feel so good afterwards has got to be positive - even if it isn't your preferred medium.