PAGE TURNER: Movies are rarely as good as books

PAGE TURNER: Movies are rarely as good as books

  We all remember the time that we’ve watched a movie adaptation of a favorite book, and we all remember thinking “Why, just why would they ruin such an amazing story?!” 

  Percy Jackson or I am Number Four is one example. Other times we’re left thinking “Wow, they did an amazing job converting the story into a movie,” like with Harry Potter or The Hunger Games. Readers are often left to wonder why they make such differences in their beloved stories after the movie adaptations come out.

  For non-readers the movie adaptations are good solely because they have never read the books. It is absolutely frustrating and heartbreaking to readers to see the movie directors, writers, etc. completely ruin the story. 

  Take Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief  for example where  the movie ages the main characters. In the first book Percy is 12 years old, but in the first movie Percy is 16. They changed the appearance of Annabeth Chase, from blonde to brunette. The movie shows Annabeth to be bland and less developed than she is in the books. There are characters in the book that aren’t in the movie, like Mr. D and Clarisse. They changed details like the capped pen, the time that Percy receives his shield wristwatch, and how Percy’s powers are handled. 

  In the Percy Jackson, I am Number Four movie, characters’ appearances  change. Characters were drastically changed. For example, Sam Goode changed from a scrawny, nerdy boy with a love for NASA shirts, thick glasses, and shaggy blonde hair to a non-scrawny boy with short brown hair who seemed more confident and less like a nerd. Number Six turned from an independent, strong, black-haired, olive-skinned girl, to pale, blonde, and tattooed for some reason. She later dyes her hair blonde but that isn’t even until the third book The Rise of Nine.  She comes off as egotistical and arrogant in the movie, and the depth of her character isn’t shown. There is a character who dies too early in the story and that is destined to mess up the rest of the movie. The movie left out so much. Those who haven’t read the book would probably not understand some aspects of the story. When it comes to movie adaptations these did not do a good job.

  On the other hand, there are some movie adaptations that did a wonderful job. For example the Harry Potter series, they stayed as close to the books as possible, although they did make a few noticeable changes that can make viewers upset. They left out a lot of the time Harry spent at the Dursley’s as well as a character called Peeves, who is a prankster ghost. As for the story they took away some of the depth including the trials in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. They took away Ginny Weasley’s whole character and turned her into a dull and boring person. The movies might leave the viewers a bit confused as they never describe who the marauders were, they don’t explain what happened to Neville’s parents, the whole fight with Percy Weasley and his family is never elaborated on, and they completely erased a character named Charlie Weasley. Other than those things they stuck as close as they could considering there is so much content. 

  The Hunger Games also did a great job on book to film adaptations. I believe each character stays very similar to the way they were written, and the story doesn’t really change at all. If you only read the books or only watch the movies, there isn’t really anything to miss. The filmmakers did an amazing job on this adaptation.

  Filmmakers may make these differences in the stories so the movie-making process is less expensive or perhaps they think that their way is better.  However, some filmmakers mess up so badly that the sequels are cancelled, although that leaves room for remakes, which are usually taken up by someone who wants to do better and please the readers. No matter why they change these stories, they continue to anger avid readers and always leave us pondering why they decided to change the stories.