I have a concern that is growing steadily. Too many people I know are now bypassing the book and going straight to the movie. In fact, I know one or two people who always ask, ďIs there a movie for that,Ē when I start talking about a recent favorite something Iíve read. Itís annoying.
Donít get me wrong, I love movies almost as much as I love the books that create them. I realize that not everyone is a purist like me who feels obligated to read the book before seeing the movie, but I canít help but feel sorry for those that donít Ė in my opinion the book is always better.
The Book is Better
A movie can tell a story and it might even be done well enough to give some depth on certain characters but it is restrained by time and the abilities of the film industry. A book has no limits. Take the Eragon
books, for example. The first was pretty good. The second book, Eldest
, was intriguing. The author, who happened to be only fifteen when Eragon was published, started work on the third book, Brisngr
. But it was too much.
Rather than just start lopping pieces out of the book to make it fit the ďmoldĒ of a trilogy, Christopher Paolini decided to cut his gigantic third dragon book in half and make it into two books. I loved that. I feel like I get two big books of story instead of one and I especially love that he fought for his story and scrapped his whole original vision of a trilogy to be sure his complete story was told.
Unfortunately, I canít say the same for the Eragon movie. In fact, I canít talk about it at all without feeling sad for the tremendous loss.
Books are deeper and have more personality. The characters have meaning, thoughts, emotions and multiple levels of being Ė just like real people. Movies donít always bring this through. Books are also able to close out all the plot lines. They donít just leave something out because itís not that important or takes up too many pages.
Movies Made From Books
Even if I know it will be bad, I always see the movie that goes with one of my books when I have the chance. I feel like the movie is an extension of the reading. Itís like a treat to see how someone else saw things that I saw in the book. I also like how the movie will inspire a lot of people to pick up the book, and then they realize that the book is better, too.
As frustrating as it can be for a knowledgeable movie watcher, Iím resigned to the fact that the movie can never include the depth that a book can. The movie can be fun to watch just because I know the story and want to see it in action, but Iíve never once, in all my years of movie watching, been surprised by a movie that was as good as or better than the book it came from.