Books on the screen or films on the page?
Chris Evans, Staff Writer
March 29, 2012
Filed under Arts & Leisure
Recently, I spoke to my brother on the phone and we came to a revelation. As everyone is aware, yet another popular work of literature has made its way on to the big screen. I’m referring to “The Lorax” of course.
Seriously, “The Hunger Games” has been declared the new blockbuster series. I plan to catch the movie myself this weekend, and then I’ll eventually read the book once I find time outside of doing homework.
“Hold your horses! Did you just say you want to watch a movie before you read the book? What sorcery is this?”
The very concept of this may shock and appall you. Perhaps you’re concerned for my mental health, I know. However, is it really that horrifying to think of someone willing to sit down and read a book after already visually absorbing its adaptation beforehand? I don’t think so.
Why would anyone want to read the book, develop a love for the plot and the characters, fill their hearts with the excitement of watching their beloved book on the big screen and then hate on it because the producer missed huge key ideas and storyline?
It happens with every movie made from a book: the “Harry Potter” series, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” “The Da Vinci Code,” “The Road” and — not that I know from personal experience — the “Twilight” saga. These are all titles that we’ve heard of, watched explode with advertisements (from the moment that the adaptation is commissioned) and hyped up our friends to stand in line for that $13 ticket.
Likewise, we all have experienced the disappointment of sitting in the theater and critiquing the movie as it unfolds before our eyes. We discriminate against it and bash the producer for not showing us the book in its entirety. Then we slowly walk out of the theater, ranting to our friends about how disappointed we were over missing parts, feeding into each other’s disapproval. Why do we put ourselves through such torment?
I propose the idea of watching the movie first to see if you like it and then reading the book. This way, that simple two-hour movie can’t dampen your emotions towards the effort that you put forth on the 300-some pages that you experience over the course of a day, or two… or three.
If you’re the type of person to binge-read the book just before going to see the movie, this is especially for you, because you’ve already committed yourself to the idea of reading and watching the story. Why not allow yourself to relax and read it on your own terms later? So after I see the movie, I will read the book, and as I come across the parts in the book that weren’t on the big screen, I can be surprised and enjoy them, rather than disappointed.