• T.C. Hansing

Film Friday - A Look at Movies and the Books they are Based On

Updated: May 8

I find it strange how movies can often influence our perception of a book's story - whether we watch it before or after we've read the book. A lot of people will tell you not to watch a movie before you read the book. I've heard this from so many people.... But when you really think about it, the decision of which to do first is more of a trade-off or gamble than most people realize.

A movie can give you a glimpse at how the setting of the book is supposed to look (if the producer of the movie did their due diligence and worked directly with the author), and this can be highly beneficial compared to leaving every tiny detail up to imagination. It takes some strain away from the reader and allows them to enjoy a more fleshed out experience.

On the other hand, it also takes away freedom from the reader to 'discover' the scenes/story for themselves. No matter how much effort I put into it, I don't think I'd ever be able to imagine Harry Potter as anyone other than Daniel Radcliffe (who portrayed him in the movies). The same goes for Hermione, Ron and the rest of the cast. There's also the fact that its pretty much impossible for movies to portray the thought process of the characters - and in a lot of cases, this is where all the magic happens in books.

In my opinion, it shouldn't be possible for a movie to be better than its source material. Frankly, it shouldn't happen... but there are instances where it does. Whether this is due to the high quality of the movie, genre of the book (action is absorbed better in video form rather than words) or something else entirely is always up for debate.

With that in mind, every week there will be a blog post where I'll go in-depth on various movies/book adaptations. What did the movie get right? Where could the book improve, based on its portrayal in the movie? Be sure to join me next Friday, where the featured story will be on The Lord of the Rings!

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