Friday, May 4, 2012

Let's Talk: Book to Film Adaptations

Let's Talk is a weekly feature at i swim for oceans.

Question: What are your favourite and least favourite book to film adaptations, and why?

I think I'll start with least favorite, this is one that I read and watched recently and could not believe how horrible the movie was.

I read Battle Royale and it was awesome, full of psychological depth and character descriptions. Because of this, I was so excited to watch the movie, unfortunately my excitement was short lived. I found Battle Royale the movie to be a horrible film, never mind adaptation. It was just a slasher film. Every single aspect that made me love the book was not even touched upon in the movie, but they added stuff in! They added weird irrelevant scenes that made me question why I was still watching the movie. I think a movie has to have a least some basis in the book, otherwise they should just write their own movie.

On the flip side of Battle Royale though, I did really enjoy The Hunger Games movie. They were of course things left out, some bugged me a lot but the movie captured the book quite well. The characters really sealed the deal for me in the movie adaptation though, they were perfect. Same with Scott Pilgrim Versus the World and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. Both awesome adaptations where the characters fit really well.

In Scott Pilgrim they did a fantastic job adding the weird video game element to it. One thing that I have occasionally done, sometimes accidentally, is watched the movie first. One bad thing, is knowing the ending of a book that will take you a fair amount of time to read. The thing I've found though is that if I watch the movie first I can enjoy both the book and the movie. Fight Club is a good example of this. I watched the movie ages ago when it came out, before I had heard of Palahniuk. I loved the movie so much. Then when I found out it was a novel, I snatched it up. I could enjoy comparing the two and loved that there was more in the book beyond the movie. This is where the big difference is. I can enjoy the extra stuff in the book, versus complaining that it's not in the film.

Those are my thoughts on the whole book to movie adaptation, I still strive to read the book first, because I like complaining I guess. ;)


  1. Great answers! I think Fight Club is definitely one of those awesome book/film adaptations that can stand alone, but both bring something great to the table. I totally agree with you on Battle Royale, too, unfortunately lol

  2. When you said "Every single aspect that made me love the book was not even touched upon in the movie, but they added stuff in!" I could totally relate... but to a different book. For me, it was Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.

    Why bother adapting a book for the screen if you're going to 1) leave out all the best bits, and 2) add in a bunch of unrelated stuff?

  3. Fight Club was such a great movie - I still need to read the book, though. Glad that you found both enjoyable,

    Nice choices :)

  4. I'm always wary of movie adaptations but I agree that The Hunger Games was really well done!


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