Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Why The Book Is Better Than The Film

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If that is the case, then a 90-minute film with 24 frames per second would be worth 129,000,000 words. Right? Wrong!

You need a lot less space to read a book...
Unless you have a lot of books.
Despite enabling us to see and hear a story, all whilst gorging down popcorn, hotdogs, nachos or even a beer if you're old enough, most adaptations of books into films are often touted as being inferior. Why is this the case?

There are a lot of boxes that need to be checked in order to gain financing for a film. You need the right actors, the right producers and directors and the right studio. The immense amount of permutations this could leave you with is immeasurable, meaning the odds are good that the film will never match up with how you saw it in your head. Books often contain a narrative, the thoughts and feelings of characters, especially the protagonist. This doesn't often work in film, and as a result we're watching the characters rather than sharing their experiences.

The expression "too many cooks spoil the broth" and "a camel is a horse designed by a committee" ring true here. With so many involved, many compromises are made. These compromises often cause films adapted from books to become a hollow shell of what they were in print.

When you read a book from the comfort of your own home, the floors aren't sticky and the food isn't ridiculously expensive! Don't even get us started on the process of dubbing and subtitling!

Are there any films which you think are better than the book? Tell us about them in the comments.