Saturday, 3 July 2010

Why books should never be subjected to the horror that is film adaptations

I know, I know. It's that age old debate. Film Vs Book. For me, books win hands down. And I'll tell you why. But first, a bit of bio for you (and a bit of a bias warning):

I am a self confessed book worm. I like fantasy the best, therefore I shall chattering away about fantasy books in particular. If you would rather gouge your eyes out with the claws of your favourite cat than read about such things, I suggest you quickly click 'next blog' (just like you would on chatroulette when you see something you'd rather not).

If you love the thought of me criticising terrible fantasy film adaptations, you've come to the right blog. Grab some popcorn, put your feet up, and read away.

Warning over, now for the fun part.

I can think of so many good books that are ruined by the greed of their own authors. I can also think of a few that havn't been almost assaulted, but don't do the plot the justice it deserves. But instead of listing off books and their various faults, I shall just list the worst offending faults, and give you super good examples of films that do exactly that.

First off the casting can be an utter disaster. And in 'The Golden Compass' (book otherwise known as 'Northern Lights' in the UK) the casting is terrible. My Lyra was much more feisty. My Mrs Coulter was scarier and (as in the book, may I add) had dark hair. My Lord Asriel was no Daniel Craig, he was an austere looking man with a thin, elegant figure and a lashing tongue, again, more frightening. And they got the plot all wrong. It doesn't even end in the same place as the book.

Plot twisting annoys me a lot actually. Here I think the phrase 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' comes to my mind. The latest Prince Caspian wins the prize for this one. Not only is Prince Caspian a good few years older than he's meant to be, but he also has a thing for Susan. I understand the appeal of an older character but please, we don't need any love interests unless they're focal to the plot.

The same goes for missing bits out. Because if you miss bits out that you don't happen to think are important in the first film, you end up having to go back on yourself in the next. Take Eragon. Not only were the one liners atrocious but they missed out a character which, in the other books, turns out to shape the entire plot. Good One, people who cut out THAT scene (and they did cut it out, I've checked).

Missing bits out. Oh I could go on all day about that one. My imagination creates these wonderful scenes of battles and places, but when I think I'll be seeing what other people have dreamt up, the whole part is cut. Harry Potter is the best target I could have with this complaint. Fifth film; the hospital (St Mungo's), or the amazing fight scenes I thought would come up in the Ministry of Magic. Who else wanted to see Ron being attacked by a brain? I rest my case.

Bad acting positively kills a book stone dead. Unfortunately the only book to film that I can think of here is Twilight, so it didn't take that much to kill it anyway. Let me get this straight, I am not and will never be a twihard. Yes I have read all the books like a good little sheep. And yes I quite enjoyed them. My excuse is that they had a fairly good plot and the characters were interesting. The writing was descriptive, although lacking an actual style.

Now, the film obviously expects you to have read these books, or else you are in danger of wondering why you are watching it in the first place. The humour in the books is almost completely lost and the long pauses and stares make you want to time how long it takes Bella to get through a sentence, or the film to the point for that matter. And the point? Edward = vampire and they love eachother. Er... yay?

And here I think I will come to a close. I will simply say that books are far superior to their film counterparts. To anyone who would rather watch the film than read the book; you are utterly missing out, and you should be ashamed of yourself.

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