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Am I being unreasonable to think if you make a film of a book...

(114 Posts)
vvviola Fri 11-Sep-15 23:15:42

.... you should actually use the story of the book?!

I just watched Child 44. They ruined it. Took away the whole central premise of the book.

I should know better by now, I don't think I've ever been impressed with the film version of a book except maybe To Kill a Mockingbird

PiperChapstick Sat 12-Sep-15 00:14:38

YANBU. The way they changed My Sisters Keeper was ridiculous, the twist and irony was the best part of the book!

PennyHasNoSurname Sat 12-Sep-15 00:16:33

When I read the OP my first thought was "My Sisters Keeper" Piper made me very cross.

The best book - movie adaptation Ive seen is Life of Pi. Though the Hunger Games leave almost nothing out that was in the book, except Madge.

Fatmomma99 Sat 12-Sep-15 00:17:13

Just posted on your thread, Piper, so no disrespect, but My Sister's Keeper was a crap book!

PennyHasNoSurname Sat 12-Sep-15 00:17:22

However I wpuld love it if they made Katniss and Gale get together in the end. Id overlook that.

PennyHasNoSurname Sat 12-Sep-15 00:18:08

Ahh I liked it! Prefer other Jodi Picoult ones but still a good read.

MrsGentlyBenevolent Sat 12-Sep-15 00:18:55

Yanbu, I think the only film(s) I enjoyed based on the books, were Lord of the Rings. They kept to the story, and left out most of the faff (of which there is quite a bit). Also enjoyed Memoirs of a Geisha, wasn't bad as adaptions go.

A bit of a 'cheese' book and film, but the latter's adaption of 'My Sister's Keeper' really peed me off. I understand the film ending made more realistic sense, but totally took away from the book, making half the bloody story and 'message' irrelevant. What is the point if you can't keep to core plot points??

Bambambini Sat 12-Sep-15 00:19:45

Blade Runner was a huge improvement on the book. The Hunger Games was pretty spot on. But, yes - I'd say usually the transition is disappointing.

MrsGentlyBenevolent Sat 12-Sep-15 00:19:55

Ah, x post!! All of the same thought, obviously.

Bambambini Sat 12-Sep-15 00:25:46

Ha, I finished The Hunger Games recently and couldn't believe she didn't end up with Gale. Gutted!

lilyb84 Sat 12-Sep-15 00:29:13

Thing is the book and the film are two different things. The film doesn't have to be true to the book. I find it best to think of books as inspirations for film adaptations. Annoying as shit when something is so far from a book you've loved though.

Green Mile is to date the only good 'true to the book' film adaptation I've seen To kill a mockingbird aside.

Fatmomma99 Sat 12-Sep-15 00:37:39

Gosh, there are a lot of Jodi Picoult fans on tonight! I thought it was utter tosh. There you go....

Agree that in the HG she should have ended up with Gale! A waste if ever there was one.

The HP films are fabulous to watch - the special effects are amazing. But they all pale compared to the books (because our imaginations are SO much better!) Although I have a personal theory that JK 'rounded' out the character of Snape after watching Rickman on screen (but that's just he makes me go weak at the knees!)

Films over books can work well if they add a clever twist where you think "oh wow! I BET the author wishes they'd thought of that!") but I'm struggling to think of examples.

In fact the only one I can think of is a cop-out (^spoiler alert^, but not bothered because can't see Picoult fans rushing to read this booksmile

In the book Brighton Rock the main character ends up with a girlfriend by default, and he hates her and she loves him. (he is with her because she's potentially a witness against him) and at one point they go to a shop like Woolworths, and have an opportunity to make a recording which they receive as a vinyl record, and she makes him go in and record a message to her. And he does, but in a fit of loathing, he records a message which is something like "you think I love you, but I don't I hate you and everything you stand for".
At the end of the book he is dead, and she (in defense of him) rejects everything - her family, her church (she is a good Catholic girl) and so she's totally alone, and then she remembers the record she's still holding, and wants to go home and listen to it, so she's going home in a taxi to listen to this recording and the last line of the book is " to the worst horror of all".
But in the film, she gets home and plays the record and it gets stuck, so what she hears is "I love you... I love you... I love you".

Have also remembered: The Unbearable Lightness of Being is an amazing book and a beautiful film. One doesn't have too much to do with the other.

Fatmomma99 Sat 12-Sep-15 00:40:30

The other thing that is hard is when there's a character in a book you REALLY relate to and they are SO different on film - so ugly when you fantasized about him or American when you thought English, etc.

TheCunnyFunt Sat 12-Sep-15 00:41:08

I thought the Narnia films were pretty much true to the books. Even though The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is not the first book. Nor does Prince Caspian come straight after TLTWATW.

Couldn't believe the ending of My Sisters Keeper film. Bloody ridiculous.

Bambambini Sat 12-Sep-15 00:50:02

Last Of The Mohicans - just couldn't enjoy it so much as a movie (though it stood up well on it's own as a movie) as they took such liberties with the characters and plot.

Bambambini Sat 12-Sep-15 00:51:51

Now I'm on a roll!

Little House on The Prairie. I loved watching the series but the books were just so much more, they were wonderful and so non schmaltzy.

Crazypetlady Sat 12-Sep-15 08:55:05

Harry potter books are so much better than the films! I love the films but so many details are missed.

MrsGentlyBenevolent Sat 12-Sep-15 09:37:47

I forgot about the Harry Potter films! Gosh, I seem to be the only one who found those films to be embarrassingly bad (bar the The Deathly Hallows, which where passably on when not just Radcliff and Watson on screen, cheese and hamming it up). Nothing compared to the 'magic' of the books, just a bunch of badly acted, badly cgi'd, nonsense.

They always miss out some of the best bits, but I sometimes think that's a wise move as watching isn't the same as reading.

Books are pretty much always better than the films though, with a serious exception with We Need to Talk About Kevin. Loved the film. The book, well I just wanted to tell the boring,miserable, stuck up whinge bag to shut the hell up!

MardyBra Sat 12-Sep-15 09:53:20

Gone with the wind.

The book was great, but the film was better.

Nataleejah Sat 12-Sep-15 10:25:51

Films after books are often a disappointment. And of course -- in film business there are so many constraints so it is virtually impossible to be accurate to the book.
Watched The Hypnotist yesterday. It was ok, but the story was completely different from the book, except the characters. But that book was so big and complicated, that to keep it accurate, it wouldn't be one film. It would be tv series.

DontOpenDeadInside Sat 12-Sep-15 10:49:38

I love Stephen King but some of him movie adaptations are dire. The Langoliers, Desperation, Dreamcatcher etc. I think because as someone upthread said, our imagination is better than on screen.

World War Z was really far from the book too, though I loved the film in its own right.

OneDayWhenIGrowUp Sat 12-Sep-15 10:57:27

OP I just wanted to commiserate with you on Child44. Loved the book. The film was not the same story at all!!!! I took bf to see it, and at the end was huffily explaining what the actual story should have been, turns out quite loudly as even the chap behind me agreed the original plot was better.

vvviola Sat 12-Sep-15 11:15:39

Hurray! I am not unreasonable smile

I get it that you sometimes need to take away sub-plots and simplify a book to make it fit within the confines of a film. And I'll even graciously accept if the actors look nothing like I'd pictured them. But when they take away the central point of a book.... argh!!

It was made worse that I had talked very grumpy DH into watching Child 44.

Twinkle186 Sat 12-Sep-15 11:21:15

I'm not keen on the HP films either. I love the books, they're so detailed and really seem to have captured this whole other world. I know that you can't realistically include everything in the films without them being epically long but it still ruins them. Even the idea that they should be seen as completely separate to the books doesn't work because you need to know some of the stuff that was left out of the films to fully understand them (IMO).

On a different note, I used to agree with PPs about Hunger Games and thought it was terrible that Katniss and Gale didn't end up together. Then I read something about how that couldn't happen because she would always link him to the death of her sister. Even if it wasn't actually anything to do with him, in her head she would always wonder. That eventually made me feel a bit better about the whole thing.

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