From book to movie

Home Editorial & Opinion From book to movie

Tim Ajmani

The Corsair

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a review on “The Hunger Games” film adaptation based on the novel by Suzanne Collins. As I mentioned in that, it was very good. It got me thinking: What are some of the best recent book-to-movie adaptations out there?

Probably high on that list has to be “The Lord of the Rings” movie trilogy. The three films, in my opinion, are not perfect. But director Peter Jackson keys in on the book’s most important scenes, and creates a beautiful transition from book page to movie script.

This is a big difference when comparing “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy to the “Harry Potter” movies. Of course, the “Harry Potter” series is disadvantaged by comparison because of the relative lack of director continuity, which disjoints the style of the films from one to another. The first two movies, directed by Chris Columbus, follow the corresponding books very closely, but also endure dull and boring moments without much action.

The third movie and fourth movies, each directed by different actors, appear to lessen the “lulls” of the books, but sacrifice plot flow for action. The final four films of the “Harry Potter” series, all directed by David Yates, appear in the same style seem to bridge the gap between action and book plot, which creates a better flow.

Another recently popular book-to-film attempt is the “Twilight” saga. In my opinion, these films are all disjointed from the books. The series suffers more than the “Harry Potter” movies do because each of the four movies is directed by a different person. Each of the four films also tries to remain “too true” to the books in a sense. This could’ve been due to the fan-base’s pressure on the director to be true to the books, but regardless, each movie suffers from way more and worse boring moments than “The Lord of the Rings” or “Harry Potter”.

Each of these three film series definitely brings up the fact that it isn’t easy producing a book-to-film adaptation. A director taking on this challenge has to know that it could have the possibility of making or breaking his career. However, it doesn’t matter if the attempt is perceived as decent or dull; the director will be remembered for it regardless.