Monday, March 24, 2014

Book vs. Movie



How many of you feel like this guy when you find out that your favorite book is being turned into a movie? 

Personally, I'm always a bit skeptical. Except for in rare cases, the book is pretty much always better than the movie. I've read all three of the Divergent series books from Veronica Roth and I was a little leery of how well the movie was going to turn out. 

I enjoyed the Divergent Series books. I wouldn't say they were my new favorites, but I enjoyed them and I was entertained. Tris was a good character, even though she was a bit whiny at times. Al got on my nerves frequently, but most of the other side characters were good additions to the story. Four was a great character, even though I knew who he was the second he helped Tris off the net after she jumped. 

So, my friend Gail Wagner and I met up with a few other friends and went to the 9:00 premier Thursday night. Our local theater wasn't willing to spring for a midnight premier, apparently. That was okay, though, because Gail and I were exhausted after doing presentations to local English classes and signing books. 

I was actually pleasantly surprised by the movie. The actors they got for the movie did a really good job. I know all the teenage girls sitting in front of us in the theater will heartily argue that Four was definitely the best part of the whole movie. Their cat calls and cheers when he whipped off his shirt to show Tris his tattoos proved that. I thought all the actors did a really good job, actually. I did picture Jeannine Matthews as being a bit more intimidating in book, but it didn't bother me. For the most part, all of the characters were portrayed pretty accurately. 

Every book turned movie will have changes in it, and Divergent was no different. Most of the details stayed pretty true to the story. There were some changes toward the end with who was there in certain scenes, but not changes to how the story ended. Also, many of the storylines involving side characters were lessened or taken out completely. I'm curious to see how that will affect the next movie, but overall, I wasn't bothered by the changes. I'm sure others were, though. 

If you expect to get an exact copy of the book you read, you'll always be disappointed no matter how good the movie is. I have a friend like that, and because of her strict expectations, she's almost never happy about movie adaptations. I think you have to go into a movie adaptation knowing that there will be differences. It may be almost a new story. That doesn't mean it won't be enjoyable. It all depends on your expectations.

What kind of reader/movie-goer are you? Do you want the exact details of the book matched to perfection in the movie, or are you willing to give an adaptation some leeway?