You know what really grinds my gears?
Movie adaptations of my favorite books.
Now, if you’re a bookworm, you know exactly how it feels to immerse yourself in a book. You get caught up in imagining how the characters look, what they do, how they feel… you have this whole image in your head of how an entire scene plays out and you forget for a second that you’re not a part of the story. And then, when you hear that your favorite book is being made into a movie, you are ecstatic…. yet hesitant. You know that the movie isn’t going to live up to your expectations, and so you are faced with the risk of being greatly disappointed.
This is how I am with The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green. When I first read this novel, I was completely hooked… I read the entire thing in one sitting. And, of course, I bawled my eyes out at the end (those of you who are familiar with the book understand why). And when I discovered a few months ago that it was being made into a movie, my initial reaction was: “ASDFGHJKL;.” I was literally dancing with joy because I love John Green and knowing that he was involved in making the movie gave me hope that it might actually be worth watching. However, as the release date is coming up closer and closer, I’m starting to second guess it’s appeal. What if they don’t capture Hazel’s cynical personality? Or Agustus’ charm? Or what if they don’t include all of the water symbolism that is so prominent throughout the novel? It’s a risk I’m going to have to take.
One instance where I was greatly disappointed after watching the movie adaptation of one of my favorite novels was when I watched Ender’s Game. I waited months before the movie finally came out and when I did watch it…. I hated it. The child actors were awkward, the scenes were not at all how I imagined them, and they left out so many small, yet important scenes from the novel. I was so upset!
Another pet peeve that results from these movie adaptations of novels is how they change the covers of books based on the images from the movie!!! NO NO NO. It is NOT okay to instill these images of the characters into the minds of the readers because it robs us of the opportunity and freedom to create our own images! I may be overreacting just a tad bit, but it really does upset me how they try to promote the movie by creating new covers solely based on the movie. As a graphic design enthusiast, I’d rather they create an aesthetically pleasing cover that relates to the novel instead of just reusing the same images from the film over and over again to promote the movie.
As people who like to read, we all run the risk of facing disappointment when our favorite novels are turned into movies. But as time goes by, at some point we learn to accept this inevitable truth and we learn that there is no way that a movie will be able to capture the images that we create in our minds when we read these books. And the only comfort that I can offer you all is that regardless of what the movie shows, we will always have our own, personal idea of how the book should be based on what we individually get out of the story. And while we will never see our own images of how the novel is supposed to look like, it’s comforting to know that we will always have our own image of perfection for ourselves.