Phenomenons

I’m going to be petty and childish right now and I have decided that I am just going to WHINE about all those fantastic (and not-so fantastic) books which people decided to turn into movies.

And just to clarify, I will not fight with anyone about this. Books are ALWAYS better than movies. There is never any exception to this rule. If you wish to ensue in a debate about this, feel free to leave a comment and be absolutely obliterated. 🙂

Yes, so perhaps a movie can be an accurate translation of the book (this is often quite rare) and maybe sometimes the movie does the book justice (even rarer), but the only people who can hand-on-heart tell me that movies are ALWAYS better than books are the people who haven’t even read the books.

Or just don’t read in general. (Which is something that upsets my soul to an ever greater extent)

But anyway. There have been so many recent releases of movies which have been taken from – mostly sub-standard – books; a while ago, I was watching a trailer for Mockingjay Part II, and I was just SO mad, because there is so much HYPE about it and barely anyone has even read the series. One trailer describes the movie as an ‘Epic Global Phenomenon’. I DO NOT KNOW WHY THEY ARE HYPING SO MUCH. The series was alright – hardly a phenomenon. I know this will probably get me some hate, but in my opinion, it didn’t deserve to be made into a movie. It was definitely a thrilling, fast-paced read mostly (especially the final book) but I won’t be a kill-joy and tell you who dies. 🙂 At any rate, it wasn’t fantastic, and I would not have thought it an easy transition from book to movie.

It isn’t. (SHOCK HORROR!) Because in the movie, they cut quite a lot from the book. And yes, I get the whole point that you have to cut bits out to make the movie flow more etc. etc. but they cut out PIVOTAL moments from the book. Like where she got her Mockingjay pin from. (HINT HINT: It wasn’t from The Hob). Also, they just seemed to completely miss out a bunch of other things, like the fact that Katniss doesn’t have feelings for Peeta; she has feelings for Gale. But in the movie, they portray her as some greedy girl who can’t seem to make her mind up about who she’s into. (Which, I would assume, is partially the fault of the actors playing her love interests? Clear distraction there…)

Now, I wouldn’t mind so much if they had made this movie with a decent cast; but I think we need to be honest here with each other. Jennifer Lawrence is perhaps the worst Katniss Everdeen they could have cast. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating. Jennifer Lawrence is a good actress (and obviously, I can’t hate, because I’m no Dame Maggie Smith) but come on. Of all the female actresses to cast as this kick-ass female heroine, they choose her. J-Law. I kid you not, she has two expressions as Katniss: sad and angry. And they’re both the same face.

Also, we have to keep the sense of realism throughout the book translation into a movie. For example, if I find the protagonist of a book to be portrayed as annoying, ignorant and mostly infuriating (*cough cough* Tris from ‘Divergent’) then I want her to be portrayed in the movie in the same manner. I know I’m not the only one to entirely dislike the main character from the Divergent series, and I am completely okay with the potential hate I may get from that statement, but I really dislike how she is portrayed as so lovely and kind and caring in the movie.

Because she is NOTHING like that in the book. And I completely hate her in the book. So much.

The love interests are always difficult to cast (in my mind at least) because in the books, you always imagine them as being extremely attractive – unless it had been stated otherwise. But then in a movie, if they cast an unattractive (or not particularly aesthetically-pleasing) male as the love interest, then your faith in him wanes and you find yourself shallowly wondering how this guy could ever have possibly gotten her to like him. (The key word here being shallowly).

But the main reason why I strongly dislike books-turned-movies is because you can never read the book in the same way again.

Some of the concepts in the ‘Thursday Next’ series (by Jasper Fforde; I am ALWAYS hyping about this, so they BETTER NOT make this series into a movie!) so accurately describe the process of reading. Basically, they say that reading is as much work on the part of the reader as it is the writer. For readers, we have to take the words and turn them into concepts and images in our minds. We have to do part of the job when reading it, as well as the writers have to do by writing it. No two people can have the same experience when reading the same book.

In the same way, when we are reading and imagining characters, they are each different in each of our minds. The writers can only describe the colour of eyes, hair, the shape of mouths, or expressions of different characters. They cannot give exact proportions for nose height and width, or eyebrow elevation (they could but it’d become pretty damn boring and TOTALLY unnecessary) and as a result, we begin to imagine those features more defined in our minds.

The problem is, when there is a movie, we already have an image and a vision of what the characters look like in our own minds. And, like I said before, no two people can have the same experience when reading the same book. Therefore, you could have anywhere from 1million people upwards, all with different needs to be catered for in terms of the casting… so you can never get the casting EXACTLY right for everybody.

Sometimes, when we read it, we actually imagine the most suited actor in Hollywood as that character, but more often than not, we usually invent some nameless gal or dude in order to visualise the world being created in our minds.

If, by some perversion of nature, I was to sit down and pick up the Hunger Games books to reread, the whole time I’d be reading, I would be imagining Katniss in my mind as Jennifer Lawrence. In my mind, Logan Lerman is forever Perseus Jackson, and now, Mary Boleyn from ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ has the face of a blonde Scarlett Johansson.

Which is kind of annoying seeing as I can never get those actors out of my mind now and they will forever dominate my thoughts when I visualise these characters (and more who couldn’t even be listed…)

I only really see three solutions to this problem:

a) I stop watching these movies (stopping reading the books isn’t an option),

b) People stop trying to MAKE the books into movies OR

c) I write the script, cast the actors and direct the movie

I’m definitely leaning towards C.

Anyway, I love you all, and peace out.

Queen Rianna

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p.s. Since I turn 16 in 2 days, I have decided that Queen is no longer enough. The instant I turn 16, I am being upgraded to Empress. Just to let you know though, this shouldn’t change much; I’m not feeling ‘The Ramblings of An Empress’ to be honest, so I’ll stick with my blog name, I’ll just sign it off differently? I’m working on how this will all be implemented.

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3 thoughts on “Phenomenons

  1. I think the third Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie was better than the books…

    (And Chuck Palahniuk is always saying that the Fight Club movie was better than his original book.)

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    • To be entirely fair, it’s a lot easier to make a longer series into movies, because there’s more time to include more substance and you lose less of the book. But even still, there will still be parts of the book, such as key characters or pivotal scenes which don’t get the same level of focus or attention as in the book.
      And I have read ‘Fight Club’ and the intensity of the book implied to me that it would be a very difficult transition from book to movie. So he may have said that, but I think we’re talking about movies in general.

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  2. Pingback: Oops! I Forgot to Post… | Oops! I Forgot to Think

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