The old and common phrase of many readers coming out of a theatre can be heard when the film was based off a novel. “The book was better” is something that has been touted since Hollywood realized they could capture ready-made stories from books and, potentially, bring in ready-made fans of the book. Also, for some non-readers, it’s a chance to experience a story that has captured many people without having to read a single page.
Yet, the question of whether to read a book first, or just forego a movie altogether, has often cropped up but is there a correct answer? Mind you, a movie and book both have benefits but they don’t always draw in the same kinds of crowds. Some people just don’t like to read, or in some cases, they don’t like to read certain types of books. Yet, these folks might love a movie made from a novel coming out of a genre they usually don’t delve into.
Someone who likes romance novels may never get into mysteries but would love a good mystery movie. Other people may want a great plot and character development but are fine to attend “popcorn movies” that are just there to entertain you without provoking too much deep consideration on the plot or characters’ motivations.
So, the problem that arises is one of a book reader going to a film based of one of his/her favorite books. Now, there are some cases where the book is undoubtedly better, since some stories are hard to capture on the screen, but in cases where the book and movie are both fantastic epics, like with the Lord of the Rings, I think it’s important to try and separate the two so they can be enjoyed.
Yet, what can make a movie weaker than its source material usually revolves around a fast or underdeveloped plot. Don’t hate a movie just because it comes from a book but if it’s a poorly done adaptation, it think the comment of, “The book was better”, is warranted. Yet, I think it’s important not to judge a book by its movie, but we have to be careful not to harshly just a movie because it’s not an exact copy of what’s on the page.